One of two men accused of assaulting a girl nearly six years ago has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.
Jeffrey Allan Caldwell, 32, of Monticello, and Melvin Jeff Caldwell, 51, of Science Hill, were jointly charged with first-degree Sexual Abuse, second-degree Rape (No Force) and second-degree Sodomy by a Pulaski County Grand Jury back in July.
On October 15, Melvin Caldwell pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree Sexual Abuse and one count of third-degree Sodomy with prosecutors recommending a five-sentence. According to his attorney, Jeremy Bartley, the amended charges all constitute Class D felonies which are eligible for parole after serving 15 percent of the time.
“Had our client gone to trial and been convicted, he was looking at up to 20 years in prison,” Bartley explained. “Weighing out five years with a 15-percent parole eligibility, we think it’s a fair plea for him.”
Bartley went on to say that Melvin Caldwell was remorseful for what had occurred. According to the indictment and other court records, Melvin Caldwell — the father of Jeffrey Caldwell — had been accused in an incident occurring on or around New Year’s Day 2015 while the incident involving Jeffrey Caldwell is reported to have occurred the prior Halloween. The victim was the cousin of Jeffrey Caldwell’s former wife.
“He’s disappointed that the incident took place and that anyone was hurt,” Bartley said of his client. “This was an isolated incident. Melvin is a productive member of society, willing to participate in treatment while incarcerated and get on with his life.”
Upon his release, Melvin Caldwell will have to register as a sex offender. Due to the nature of the charges and subsequent interview process for a PSI (pre-sentence investigation), his sentencing hearing has been scheduled before Pulaski Circuit Judge Jeffrey Burdette on December 17.
At press time, Melvin Caldwell remained lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center — as does Jeffrey Caldwell, who is scheduled for a pretrial conference on November 19.