On Tuesday, James Dutschke, the man who sent President Obama and other officials letters laced with ricin, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for fondling three martial arts students. He is also spending 25 years in federal prison for the ricin letter charges.
In January, Dutschke admitted and pleaded guilty to touching his martial arts students inappropriately at his Tupelo studio. According to Assistant District Attorney Sadie Gardner, the incident happened between 2007 and 2013.
In court, Dutschke was confronted by the grandmother of one his victims. She described Dutschke as a child molester who behaved like he was a proper, and smart man. She told Dutschke that he took away the innocence of her granddaughter.
The court also ordered Dutschke to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison.
Though Dutschke pleaded guilty to the inappropriate touching and lacing letters with ricin, he said in court that he would like to withdraw his guilty plea for both charges on May 13. However, after a few days, he again changed his mind and decided to stick with his guilty plea for both charges.
— CBC News (@CBCNews) May 19, 2014
Dutschke, 42, sent ricin-laced letters to Judge Sadie Holland, Senator Roger Wicker, and President Obama in 2013. Prosecutors say that the move was done in order to frame Paul Kevin Curtis, an Elvis impersonator, who has been butting heads with Dutschke online. Curtis was arrested, but was released shortly after, since they found no evidence of ricin in his home.
Of the ricin-letters that were sent out, two were intercepted before the supposed recipients received them. The third one reached Judge Holland, but reports say that she was not harmed by the ricin.
According to reports, Dutschke was quiet the entire time in court.
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said, “We had three victims here in our county that we had to look out for. We had to do what was right and today, they at least got some closure to it, so we’re proud of what the court has done.”
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