TAYLOR COUNTY—A 22-year-old West Virginia University (WVU) student is awaiting a sentencing hearing, after entering a plea agreement with the state concerning charges that were sexual in nature.
Robert A. Korleski, originally from Simpsonville, Greenville County, South Carolina, but who resides in Morgantown while studying engineering at WVU, was present in Taylor County Circuit Court with his counsel Zachary Dyer on Wednesday to admit guilt in his case.
Korleski pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault in the third degree, entered by way of information by the state.
For each charge, the defendant could face not less than one nor more than five years in prison, a fine of not more than $10,000 or both. Should his terms be served concurrently, he would serve anywhere from 2-10 years behind bars and could be subject to $20,000 in fines.
As part of the agreement, because of the nature of the crimes, Korleski will have to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his life, and following his sentence, he will be subject to an additional 2-50 years of supervision through the Taylor County Probation office.
Finally, the defendant agreed to pay $1,175 in restitution, for an iPhone 12, to the father of one of his victims.
In return for Korleski’s guilty plea, the state agreed to not prosecute the defendant for any additional charges in the matter.
Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney John Bord revealed to the court that the agreement had been signed off on by the defendant, the state, one victim’s father, the other’s mother and by Sergeant Matt Horne of the West Virginia State Police Grafton Detachment, who led the investigation in the matter.
According to the defendant, he met a female on a social media platform and after some time decided to “meet up.” In December 2020, he made his way to Taylor County, and picked up the female, as well as her friend, both were 14 years old.
After listening to music and talking, the trio parked on a gravel road near Maple Avenue. It was then reported that the defendant had sexual intercourse with both females.
Korleski, who told the court that he had never been in trouble before, is currently still living in Morgantown and attending classes, something that could be short-lived, according to Bord.
“By my understanding of the rules of WVU, he more than likely will be kicked out,” he told the court.
After pleading guilty to the two sexually based charges, Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Alan D. Moats ordered that Korleski would have three business days to register as a sexual offender.
He further ordered that the matter would be continued for sentencing, following a pre-sentence investigation that will performed by the Taylor County Probation Office.
Bord will await the results of Chief Probation Officer Heather Pride’s presentence investigation report before making a sentencing recommendation, however, he addressed the possibility of a personal recognizance (PR) bond for the defendant.
Because Korleski had cooperated in the investigation, showed up to court on his own and pleaded guilty in his first criminal court appearance, Bord noted that the state would recommend such a bond in the matter.
Moats ordered that a $5,000 PR bond would be set for Korleski, with the stipulation that the defendant have no contact with anyone under age 18 and be banned from using dating apps or websites.