Originally charged with two Class B felonies for rape and criminal deviate conduct, Anthony J. Fulton, 25, of Warsaw, was sentenced today for a lesser charge of Class D felony sexual battery.
Fulton was arrested in April for forcibly raping a woman as she walked near downtown Warsaw. According to Warsaw Police, the female victim notified police that, on Saturday evening, March 31, she was walking near Fort Wayne Avenue on her way to meet friends at the Detroit Street McDonald’s when a man wearing a dark colored hoodie began following her. She identified Fulton as the man who forced her between houses where she said he raped her.
Defense attorney Jay Rigdon said Fulton has already served 6 months in jail and has been diagnosed with mental health issues while incarcerated. “His tendencies are much clearer and that’s a direct result of the medical treatment,” said Rigdon. “Second, he has accepted responsibiliy for his actions and third, he’s a low risk to reoffend … “I think he has some hope for the future as long as he maintains his mental health treatment.”
Kosciusko Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed disagreed with Rigdon and told Fulton, “I don’t know how you could be a low risk re-offender” and he noted several other criminal charges dating to 2007 that included burglary, resisting law enforcement, drug possession and driving while suspended charges. “I appreciate you’ve come forward and accepted responsibility, and I think you have received credit for that … If I don’t give you at least 3 years I’m not doing my job.”
Fulton spoke on his own behalf saying, “Time (in jail) is making it worse. I’ve been on my own since I was 16 and had no real parents to help me. I’ve had to do everything myself and it’s hard to be out there on the streets on your own.”
Ultimately, Judge Reed sentenced Fulton on a plea agreement charging him only with Class D felony sexual battery. He was ordered remanded to the Indiana Department of Corrections for a period of 3 years, but was given credit for 358 days served. Fulton will also be required to register as a sex offender.
In exchange for the plea, the two Class B felonies were dismissed.
Also sentenced today:
- Michael Manges, 27, of Syracuse, charged with Class D felony count of possession of methamphetamine and a Class A misdemeanor for possession of marijuana. Under his plea agreement, the misdemeanor charge was dismissed. Manges was sentenced to 1 1/2 years of probation and ordered to continue rehab for a drug addiction and be subjected to random drug testing. He was also fined $100 and must pay a $200 drug interdiction fee.
- Ephraim Lloyd, 31, of Warsaw, pleaded guilty to a Class D felony count of failing to register as a sex offender. The crime is punishable by from 6 months to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. The state charges that on Jan. 1 and July 12 of this year, Lloyd failed to report his change of address as required of a convicted sex offender. Judge Reed credited Lloyd for 154 days served and ordered he be placed on probation for the remainder of the 1 1/2 year term.