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W.Va. teen gets probation for forcing himself on girl

June 12, 2019

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia teen has been sentenced to probation for forcing himself on a 17-year-old girl and touching her genitals despite her saying no and pleading to be taken home.

The Huntington Herald-Dispatch reports 18-year-old Zane Richard Lanham also was sentenced Tuesday to a year of counseling for “sexual aggression,” which is what the prosecutor said the victim wanted. That sentence may be shortened to six months if he displays a “positive disposition.”

He was initially charged with first-degree sexual abuse, though ultimately entered a Kennedy plea to the lesser charge of battery, allowing him to be convicted without admitting guilt.

Prosecutors said the Huntington High wrestler forced himself on the victim while driving her home in November.

Defense attorney Rich Weston said, “when you’re young, sometimes signals get crossed.”

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Information from: The Herald-Dispatch, http://www.herald-dispatch.com

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