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Two men receive sexual predator designations

June 05, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -Two Franklin County men convicted of sexual assaults against minors have received the designation of sexually violent predator and will be listed as such for the rest of their lives under Pennsylvania's version of Megan's Law.

Shawn Paul Lesher, 22, no fixed address, received the designation during a hearing before Judge Carol Van Horn earlier this year. On Wednesday, she sentenced Lesher to two to 10 years in state prison on a charge of aggravated indecent assault, a second-degree felony.

In another courtroom at about the same time, Judge John R. Walker ordered that Luke J. Feitner, 29, of 5842 Tick Ridge Road in Waynesboro, Pa., also be designated a sexually violent predator. He is scheduled for sentencing July 9 on a charge of aggravated indecent assault.

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The designation of sexually violent predator means both men will be subject to community notification once they have served their sentences, according to state law. That includes notification to the Pennsylvania State Police or municipal police in the jurisdiction in which they reside, neighbors, schools, colleges, day-care centers and the county Children and Youth Services director.

Lesher pleaded guilty on April 1, 2002, to aggravated indecent assault in a 2001 case involving a 15-year-old girl, according to court records.

Lesher had been found delinquent as a juvenile of indecent assault against a 5-year-old boy, according to court records. Lesher also had been assessed by Dr. Stephen Overcash, a member of the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, and evaluated by a psychiatrist, both of whom concluded he had not significantly benefited from earlier treatments, court records stated.

On Wednesday, Van Horn ordered that Lesher have no unsupervised contact with any minor. He was given 21 months and 14 days credit for time served.

Feitner on Jan. 8 pleaded no contest to aggravated indecent assault involving a 6-year-old girl, according to court records. The judge noted Feitner was on parole for sexually assaulting another child at the time of the offense.

During Feitner's brief hearing, Assistant District Attorney Nancy Meyers presented a copy of the assessment board's report on Feitner and Assistant Public Defender Deborah Hoff gave Walker a mental evaluation of her client that was ordered for sentencing.

Overcash was present, but no testimony was heard.

Walker noted that he had read Overcash's assessment and the sentencing evaluation, which concluded that Feitner still represented a sexual threat to children.

State law has a list of crimes that can trigger an evaluation by the assessment board to determine whether a convicted offender should be subject to the requirement of notifying police of their place of residence for 10 years or life. Those range from a first-degree misdemeanor sexual assault to first-degree felonies such as rape.

The list of offenses for which someone can be considered for assessment as a sexually violent predator includes such crimes as rape, aggravated indecent assault and incest with a child under the age of 12, according to state law.

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