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Belleville man gets year in jail for sex assault
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MONROE - A Belleville man was sentenced Monday to one year in jail and seven years of probation on charges of third-degree sexual assault and contributing to a child's delinquency.

Eric C. Wade, 26, Belleville, appeared in Green County Circuit Court on two Class G felony counts of third-degree sexual assault and a Class H felony count of intentionally contributing to a child's delinquency after several incidents in August of 2014 when he had sex with an underage Belleville teenager.

Wade said in court that he initially believed the teenager to be 19 years old, although he did not cease his contact with her after she admitted her actual age.

Wade's attorney, William Ginsberg, said the victim believed that some confinement time was necessary, but added that Ginsberg's actions indicated that he was remorseful for his actions and sympathetic to the victim.

Ginsberg said correspondence between Wade and the victim demonstrated a considerable rapport between the two, with Wade providing emotional support during a period of psychological distress and trauma.

Ginsberg also noted that Wade had refused to buy the victim alcohol, as the victim was underage.

"I am very remorseful," Wade said in a statement. "I felt sick with myself after I found out about her age. But I felt sorry for her because of what she'd been through."

Judge James Daley compared the victim to "a ticking time bomb" and said that Wade had exercised far worse judgment than would reasonably be expected of a man of Wade's age.

As part of a plea agreement, Daley was sentenced to one year of jail time conditional to his seven-year probation term. His jail sentence was stayed until January of 2017.

Furthermore, Wade was prohibited from having any contact with the victim or her family and was ordered to pay $2,518 in restitution.

Daley concluded the matter by asking Wade what he had learned from his case. Wade replied, "If random people from the Internet try to talk to me, I won't respond to them."