Resentencing ordered for sex offender

LISBON – George W. Farnsworth Jr., 50, Salineville, sentenced for sexually-related offenses last year, will have to be resentenced according to a decision by Appeals Court Judge Cheryl L. Waite.

Farnsworth pleaded guilty in December 2011 to two counts of rape and one count of gross sexual imposition. The charges stemmed from offenses against two minors between 1994 and 2003, one of whom had a child with him when she was only 14 years old.

Columbiana County Common Pleas Judge Scott Washam had sentenced Farnsworth to 10 years on each count of rape to be served consecutively, plus an additional consecutive sentence of two years on the gross sexual imposition. Assistant County Prosecutor Timothy McNicol had requested the two 10-year sentences, but had called for the gross sexual imposition to run concurrently.

According to Waite’s ruling, Washam failed to make the required findings before imposing the consecutive sentences. It notes that state statutes require the judge to make three findings before imposing consecutive sentences. First that they are necessary to protect the public from future crime or punish the offense. Second that the consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the conduct or the danger the defendant poses to the public.

Finally, the court must show one of three other issues: either one or more of the offenses occurred while the defendant was awaiting sentencing, multiple crimes were committed as part of one or more courses of conduct and caused great or unusual harm, or the defendant’s criminal history requires it.

Washam will get another opportunity to issue a sentence. The appeals court ordered Farnsworth returned for resentencing.