Man convicted of criminal sexual act with a teenager sent to prison for five years
Alone one night in a car in the Target parking lot with a teenage girl, Shawn D. Myers made a decision that he and the girl will have to deal with for the rest of their lives, Judge Melissa Lightcap Cianfrini told Myers before sentencing him to five years in prison this afternoon.
In July, a jury convicted Myers of first-degree criminal sexual act, a Class B violent felony.
By all accounts in Court this afternoon, except for that one decision, the Byron resident had led a pretty exemplary life up to that point -- a volunteer in his community, including a volunteer firefighter.
On Jan. 28, 2021, Myers forced the girl to have sex with him, the jury said.
His attorney, Jeremy Schwartz, argued that the evidence in the case, despite the jury's verdict, didn't really support the assertion of forcible compulsion, though Myers, now 21, admitted that he had sex with a person less than 17 years of age.
First Assistant District Attorney Joseph Robinson said the victim suffered physical injury as a result of what Myers did and is still dealing with the emotional fallout of the sexual abuse.
More than two dozen community and family members attended the hearing in support of Myers.
The victim and her mother were also at the hearing.
In his statement, Myers said he knew he made a mistake but expressed concern about being sent to prison because he is being treated for PTSD, anxiety, and depression, and during his time in the criminal justice system, he and his attorney said, he's already suffered one disruption to his medication regime.
Cianfrini, who could have sentenced Myers to up to 25 years in prison, said that she would note in documents that will go with Myers to the Department of Corrections, that Myers has prescription medication he must take.
She encouraged Myers to use his time in prison to learn that he can't force people to do things against their will and to learn a trade.
Myers said during his statement that he loved being a volunteer firefighter and regretted that he had ruined his firefighting career by his decision. He promised Cianfrini that never again will he make a mistake that lands him back in jail.