GRAFTON—Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Alan D. Moats heard numerous negotiated plea agreements recently.
Among the deals heard was one concerning a case of sexual assault. Charles Edward Bonner, Jr. was present with his lawyer Ira Richardson to enter a guilty plea to sexual assault in the third degree, count 11 of his indictment.
Bonner was indicted in April 2019 by the Taylor County Grand Jury on two counts of incest, two counts of felony child neglect, four counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, or custodian and 10 counts of first-degree sexual assault.
For his crime, the defendant was facing a possible 25-100 years in prison and a fine of $5,000-$25,000, or in the discretion of the court, both, because Bonner’s victim was under the age of 12 when the crime was committed.
As part of the agreement, the State of West Virginia would recommend that he be sentenced to the 25-100-year term and that he be subject to a fine of $5,000. In turn, they would dismiss all other counts in the indictment, as long as he agreed to testify against his parents in any future cases.
The plea agreement also said that Bonner would be subject to a period of extended supervision for up to 50 years.
According to Moats, the crime occurred between January 2009 and April 2012.
“It states here that you were engaged in sexual intercourse with a child under twelve years of age,” Moats said. “I am assuming that, for the record, that mean you inserted your penis into the child.”
The defendant revealed that he had in essence tried to have a nine-year-old female perform fellatio on him by inserting his penis into the child’s mouth.
“Actually, your honor, the child that is named in count 11 of Mr. Bonner’s indictment was only four years old at the time of the crime,” Taylor County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Miller interjected.
Bonner’s council said that he and his client were simply asking the court to hand down a sentence in accordance with the agreement.
“My client has accepted responsibility for his actions and has agreed to the terms of the plea,” Richardson voiced.
When asked if he wanted to speak toward his sentencing, Bonner opted to remain silent.
“It is ordered that you be sentenced to 25-100 years in prison with credit for time served. You will be subject to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of your life. In addition, it is ordered that you will be subject to 50 years of extended probation upon your release from prison,” Moats said.