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Judge Sentences Calhoun To 5-15 Years For Incest

By Staff | Nov 5, 2014

John Otto Calhoun

John Otto Calhoun, 74, of 231 Montwell Drive, Mingo Junction, Ohio, was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison Oct. 30 for incest.

“I’d like to apologize for the thing I’ve done,” Calhoun noted at the hearing.

Calhoun’s attorney, David C. White, stated that his client had failing health and was very medicated. He also noted that his client had no criminal record.

“He does now,” The Honorable Judge David W. Hummel, remarked.

“He recognizes that it was a mistake and is sorry it occurred,” White continued.

“He was shocked it was a crime,” White further remarked in Calhoun’s defense. “Had he been divorced from the victim’s mother, it wouldn’t have been a crime,” he added.

However, Assistant Prosecutor Worthy Paul argued that the evidence would have shown the victim was much younger than 18, which is the age that Calhoun has constantly argued that his victim was. At a previous hearing, Calhoun had quipped that the victim was “18 and one day.”

The age of the victim was somewhat immaterial at the sentencing, however, as the charge was for incest, not based on age.

“I don’t think I’m going to live another year . . . I don’t want to die in jail,” Calhoun pleaded.

“You should have thought of that when you were committing a sex crime,” Hummel responded.

During the Oct. 30 hearing, Paul argued that the state could care for Calhoun’s declining health while he served time in prison.

Paul read a statement from the victim to the court in which the victim stated that they had recurring nightmares and that they are currently being treated for drugs. The victim stated that they had a sense of being used, because Calhoun was manipulative. “He was supposed to be a caregiver, not someone I would consider a monster. Please hold him accountable,” the victim asked.

“You can’t get their innocence back,” Paul stated of the victim in the crime.

It was argued once again that Calhoun was a Navy veteran, as well as retired from school board service.

“But sir,” Hummel noted to Calhoun, “that doesn’t give you a pass to do what you did.”

With that, Hummel sentenced Calhoun to five to 15 years in prison, followed by supervised release for 10 years. Calhoun must also register as a sex offender.

Calhoun was originally handed down two indictments by the May 2014 grand jury. The first indictment, containing six counts, charged him with two sets of sexual assault in the second degree, incest, and sexual abuse by a custodian. These offenses allegedly occurred between March 20, 1999, and March 14, 2000, to a child.

The separate indictment contains a charge of sexual assault in the first degree, incest, sexual abuse in the first degree, and two charges of sexual abuse by a custodian. These offenses allegedly occurred between Dec. 6, 2000, and Dec. 5, 2007.

Calhoun has been incarcerated since his arrest. On his Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney’s Facebook page, Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught stated the case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police, Sergeant W.D. Henderson, and Paul. “I want to thank Sergeant Henderson and Mr. Paul for their hard work on an extremely difficult case,” Haught noted.