Jesse James Wiley, 35, was sentenced June 6 to 60 days in jail by Judge David W. Hummel for a violation of supervised probation.
After a lengthy discussion on how Wiley was sentenced by the late Judge John T. Madden in 2005, the court agreed that the sentenced appeared to be that Wiley was to serve five to 15 years for incest. He was also sentenced to 15-35 years for third degree sexual assault and 10-20 years for a charge of sexual abuse by a custodian. The court determined that the latter two sentences were to be served concurrently.
However Madden had suspended the execution of the sexual assault and sexual abuse sentences and ordered that Wiley be placed on probation after being discharged from prison on the incest charge. At the time, Madden also ordered that Wiley undergo therapy by a licensed sex therapist.
Wiley had been released from prison in December 2013, when his five years of probation began.
Robert Hurley, a Region III Sex Offender Intensive Supervision Officer, was first to testify on behalf of the state. He said that on Dec. 12, "it came across our desk" from the Department of Corrections that Wiley was being released from prison onto probation. Hurley stated that he set up a meeting to review the terms and conditions of Wiley's probation with Wiley's mother on Dec. 12. Hurley stated he met with both Wiley's mother and Wiley on Dec. 13.
"Did you go over with his mother the terms of and conditions of his probation?" Prosecutor Timothy Haught asked.
"I reviewed them with Mr. Wiley and his mother was in the same room, yes," Hurley responded.
Hurley said that he read the terms and conditions to Wiley and when asked if he had any questions, Wiley stated he did not.
Hurley said his office initially discovered on Jan. 29 that Wiley had been corresponding with inmates in the Department of Corrections. "He's not supposed to correspond with inmates," Hurley stated, adding that Wiley would have violated one of the rules of probation.
Hurley testified that his office confiscated the letters that Wiley had and explained to Wiley that he was not to have any contact with convicted felons. However, Hurley stated that he didn't file anything against Wiley at that time.
"Was there any other issue with respect to his probation?" Haught asked.
Hurley stated that on Feb. 25 he had been leafing through the sex offender registry and found that James Grant-Wiley's mother's boyfriend-was living in the same residence with Wiley and his mother." Hurley stated that Grant was a convicted sex offender and that Wiley living in the same residence of Grant would be a probation violation.
"Did you talk to Mr. Wiley about this?" Haught inquired.
Hurley expressed the affirmative, stating he had contacted Wiley on the evening on Feb. 25. "He reported to me that he wasn't aware that Mr. Grant was a sex offender." Hurley added that Wiley acted surprised.
"I instructed him that he'd need to find a new residence," Hurley stated, "and he reported to me that he would . . . However, he made little, if any, effort to find a residence. Initially I told him he needed to find a new residence in the next two weeks. The only residence he had found was relatively close to a park and he said that wasn't going to work out. I asked him if he had looked through any newspapers, in which he responded that he had not."
Hurley noted that when Wiley came to his March office check-in, he admitted that he had known prior to Feb. 25 that Grant was a registered sex offender. Hurley stated that Wiley said, through Grant's advice, he had not admitted at the time that he knew, as Grant had said it was none of Hurley's business.
Hurley stated he filed the violation report on Wiley on March 12.
Hurley stated that he filed the violation report with Wetzel County's Chief Probation Officer, John D. Lantz, who then filed the petition to revoke Wiley's probation. He stated that this appeared to be standard practice.
Wiley's defense attorney, John Anderson, then questioned Hurley, who testified that he did not meet with Grant the same time that he met with Wiley and Wiley's mother.
Hurley stated that when he met with Wiley and his mother on Dec. 13, he asked them if there were any felons that they associated with and "neither one said yes. They may have responded with a shrug or head turning no, but I didn't recall a verbal answer," Hurley noted.
Anderson then extensively questioned Hurley on Wiley's association with Grant.
"He admitted to me on the office visit on March 5 that he had lied to me," Hurley stated.
In response to what he had lied about, Hurley said, "Knowing about Mr. Grant's status of a felon as a sex offender . . . he said he had learned about it in late January or early February . . . he couldn't remember the exact date."
Anderson also questioned Hurely on Wiley's effort to find a place to live. "I explained to him on an office visit that I can pick up a paper and find several places to live in, which he said he didn't look in a paper, and I don't consider that a reasonable effort."
"He provided me with one potential address," Hurley stated. "And he told me he was using Mr. Grant to help him."
Lantz then took the stand to testify on behalf of the prosecution. The probation officer noted that he filed the petition to revoke Wiley's probation and he did not know why he filed it verses Hurley, but it was just the natural practice.
"Your honor, I believe we have established that Mr. Wiley has violated the terms and conditions of his probation by associating with a known sex offender and by lying about it, based on his admission to Mr. Hurley," Prosecutor Haught then argued. "Both of those would be violations of his probation and both go to the heart of the purpose of probation, one of which is not to have probationers associating or having contact with other convicted felons or sex offenders."
"He's a convicted sex offender living with another sex offender who is not a relative or family member of his, and I believe that is really the essence of that. You can see he was corresponding with other felons in the DOC based on the testimony of Mr. Hurley." Haught noted that with only that mistake alone, Hurley would not have filed a petition; however, "after finding out he was living with a sex offender and not being forthright about it and dragging his feet regarding housing . . ."
"Mr. Wiley has served seven and one half years on an incest charge, and his other two charges are serious," Haught said. "The state believes that his probation should be revoked. These violations go to the very core of whether or not you can successfully serve probation. If you are being deceptive, your probation is not going to be successful. Lying and having association with fellow sex offenders is a serious offense."
Anderson argued that the evidence shows that Wiley learned about Grant being a convicted felon "a couple of weeks before Feb. 25, not when he first went into the residence."
"There's no evidence that he knew about Mr. Grant . . . the testimony of him lying about it . . He told them on Feb. 25 that he now knew that Grant was a convicted felon or sex offender, but what he said to them wasn't a lie. He was arguing to what he originally said . . . He admitted that when he knew was on Feb. 25 . . . So the use of the word lie is misplaced, particularly since it seems to be the basis for the state's argument that he can't be supervised and ought to be returned to prison."
"The evidence is that when he was told that he had to find a new house, he made substantial efforts to find it."
Anderson suggested that the court find that Wiley's violation was a technical violation and that "he has been punished by the imprisonment that he had undergone and to date, and I would request to reinstate him to probation."
Judge Hummel appeared to agree to this sentiment as he sentenced Wiley to 60 days for a technical violation of probation. However Hummel did not make specific findings that would have completely revoked Wiley's probation. Hummel ordered that Wiley now serve his probation under Lantz.