A 66-year-old Somerset man, who is accused of sexually abusing three female relatives about 20 years ago, has agreed to accept a five-year prison sentence for his crimes.
On Oct. 21, 2013, a Whitley County Grand Jury indicted Roger Martin Ruggles for first-degree rape, incest, three counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of first-degree criminal abuse and second-degree assault.
The charges dealt with allegations that allegedly occurred between 1991 and 2001, and two of the victims were under the age of 12 years old when the abuse took place.
Ruggles had been scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 27 but instead entered into a plea agreement.
Ruggles pled guilty to three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree assault in exchange for prosecutors dismissing the remaining charges and recommending a five-year prison sentence.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble said both he and the three victims were pleased with the resolution of the case.
“They were glad to get it over with,” Trimble noted. “It was a late reporting thing. It was something that had troubled them for decades and they finally decided to pursue it.”
As a result of the plea agreement, Ruggles will have to complete a sex offender treatment program while in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender once he is released from prison, Trimble noted.
Ruggles remains free on bond and is expected to begin serving his sentence following his formal sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for April 18.
“This occurred many years ago. Both the commonwealth and the defendant felt like the public was safe and he was not a security risk and he would return for sentencing,” said Ruggles attorney, Jim Wren II.