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Child rapist, former day care worker, sentenced

CAMPBELL COUNTY, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- Justin Harvill learns his sentence Monday after a plea agreement in which he admitted to sodomy and sexual abuse.

One of the 24-year-old's Newport man's victims was seven at the time.  This case has been hanging around for a  year and a half and some of the allegations go back more than six years.  It all wrapped up Monday when Justin Harvill left the courtroom in handcuffs.  But not before he spoke out in open court without saying what victims' families wanted to hear.

There was a lot of tension in Judge Stine's courtroom Monday morning for Justin Harvill's sentencing.  Victims' families on one side of the courtroom with Harvill's friends and family on the other.  A few years ago, they might have sat together.
   
Harvill grew up around, and was babysat by, the women whose children he pled guilty to abusing.  He was related to one of the three victims.  The youngest was seven years old.  In front of the Judge, Harvill said since he posted bond he's become a new man.

"Since I been out, I got a job immediately, got married, bought a house.  I just want the court to see what I been doin' to better myself," Harvill said.
   
At no point did he say he was sorry.
   
This infuriated commonwealth's attorney Michelle Snodgrass, who reminded the Judge Harvill was the defendant, not a victim.  Judge Stine stuck to the negotiated plea.

"So, a total of 13 years of imprisonment Mr. Harvill," the judge said.
   
And lifetime registration as a sex offender.  Harvill left the courtroom in handcuffs.
   
The victims' families, who did not want to be identified, found little comfort in the sentence but seemed relieved it was over.

"I thought he should have got more than 13 years. I feel 13 years wasn't long enough for what he did.  But it wasn't up to me.  It was up to my son and he didn't want to face him in court so I just went in and took the plea," one family member said.

During the interviews, the tension of the courtroom turned into drama in the hallway.  Deputies quickly stepped into the middle of the name-calling.

The crimes Harvill is convicted of date back to March of 2007 and lasted until February of 2010.  Harvill had been free on bond since last May.  He has no prior criminal record.  Justin Harvill worked for Head Start of Northern Kentucky at the time of his arrest.  The prosecutor in the case says he was an assistant teacher but there is no connection between his job and the crimes.

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