Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the state has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction should the case go to trial.
Alan L. Winik, Leasure's defense attorney, argued that his client had no prior criminal record, had been very involved in his former community in West Virginia, and that serving five years in prison would give him enough time to "come to terms with the events that brought him here."
The father of the two children who were victims in the case, both of whom were younger than 10, said he wanted them to see Leasure behind bars for a long time.
"They're still scarred, mentally and physically," the victims' father said.
Assistant Washington County state's attorney Brett Wilson referred to the abuse inflicted on the children as "ongoing, systematic torturing."
Both children suffered visible bruising on their faces and bodies, injuries to their genitalia, and one of the victims was burned with a hair dryer, Wilson said.
In August, a Washington County jury convicted Sabrina Whiteman, Leasure's co-defendant in the case, on two counts each of second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault and contributing to the condition of a child. She was acquitted of two charges of first-degree assault.
Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. on Nov. 5 sentenced Whiteman to seven and a half years in prison on each of the counts of child abuse, to run consecutively, and to three years each on the contributing to the condition of a child convictions, to run concurrently with the child abuse charges.