Plea deal yields lighter sentence in sex abuse case

November 07, 1997


Staff Writer

Two years to the day after being sentenced to 15 years in prison for the sexual abuse of a young girl, Stanley Leroy Carpenter was told he only had to serve 18 more months in the local detention center as result of a plea agreement.

In December 1996, Maryland's second highest court ordered a retrial on a question of the possible partiality of a juror, even though that juror didn't serve on the Washington County jury that convicted Carpenter.

Carpenter, 61, of Hagerstown, was sentenced Thursday by Judge Frederick C. Wright III to 10 years in prison with all but 18 months of the sentence suspended.


Those 18 months will be served in the Washington County Detention Center, Wright ordered. Carpenter already has served 18 months in prison.

Carpenter entered an Alford plea, which agrees the state could present enough evidence to find him guilty of one count of third-degree sex offense but is not a guilty plea.

Two counts of third-degree sex offense and one count of child abuse were dismissed, said Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum.

Wright authorized Carpenter for a work-release program.

Upon his release, Carpenter will have five years of supervised probation, Wright said.

On Nov. 6, 1995, Carpenter was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a girl over an eight-year period, starting when she was 6.

Before being sentenced Thursday, Carpenter told the judge the 18 months he'd served in prison was "the worst punishment I've ever had in my life. I sure did learn."

Wright told Carpenter it was supposed to be the worst punishment of his life.

Defense attorney John Salvatore said Carpenter lived in fear of other inmates discovering why he was in prison. He said Carpenter knew what the inmates would do to him if they found out.

"I think that Stanley would avoid any possible situation that would result in another charge of this type," Salvatore said.

Carpenter's employers at Larstan Industries also spoke on his behalf before sentencing.

"He's been an excellent employee," said Russell Darnell, plant manager.

Darnell said he had worked with Carpenter for eight or nine years and had never removed him from the active payroll list.

The company's owner, Larry Banks, traveled from New Jersey to speak on Carpenter's behalf. After the sentencing, Banks said he would pay the $795 in court costs for Carpenter.

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