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Smithsburg man pleads guilty to fourth-degree sex assault

August 17, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

A Smithsburg man pleaded guilty Thursday morning in Washington County Circuit Court to a fourth-degree sex offense.

Franklin Howard Davis III, 20, whose last known address was 13203 Edgemont Road in Smithsburg, was charged in connection with a sexual encounter he had with a 15-year-old girl in her home in July 2006. The girl said the encounter was not consensual, Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said Thursday.

Other charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

The state offered a plea because of a problem with evidence in the case, not because it was trying to minimize the case in any way, Cirincion said.

Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long said it didn't matter who initiated the encounter.

"You're the person who knows, as an adult, that this was improper," he told Davis.

The state was seeking a suspended sentence as part of the plea agreement, Cirincion said.

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A suspended sentence was not appropriate, according to the judge.

Long ordered Davis to serve one year in jail, with six months suspended. After his release, Davis will serve two years of supervised probation and must register as a sexual offender, Long said. He also ordered Davis to have no contact with the victim.

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