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Monticello man gets six months in jail for sex assault
MONROE - A Monticello man was sentenced Monday to four years of probation and six months in jail on charges of contributing to a child's delinquency and sexual assault.

William Ross Viney, 25, was sentenced on a Class H felony charge of contributing to a child's delinquency and three misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree sexual assault.

Viney's charges stem from a series of incidents in November 2014 when he had sexual contact with an underage Belleville teenager. Viney's online correspondence with the teenager indicates he was aware of the victim's age at the time of the incidents, although the victim originally claimed to be 19 years old.

Viney had originally been charged with three counts of third-degree sexual assault, but the charges were reduced to misdemeanor fourth-degree counts as part of a plea agreement.

Viney's attorney, Guy Taylor, said probation would give Viney the opportunity to prove that he is not dangerous to society.

"It's a sad case, but I really don't think the court needs to worry about Viney's behavior," Taylor said.

Taylor added that Viney had already lost job opportunities as a result of his charges and had developed pancreatitis, possibly as a result of stress stemming from his case, which placed upon Viney dietary restrictions that would be difficult to accommodate for a long jail sentence.

Furthermore, although Viney's sexual assault charges are misdemeanors, they still carry the stigma of being sexual offenses, which Taylor said made his recommended sentence "not a light recommendation."

Judge James P. Daley said Viney appeared to understand the consequences of his actions and sentenced him to four years of probation, with a conditional sentence of six months of jail with work release privileges. Viney was also ordered to pay $1,918 in restitution and was prohibited to have any contact with the victim or her mother.

"You were the adult in that situation and you were responsible for making better decisions," Daley said.