BUCKHANNNON – A Buckhannon man faces a potential sentence of several years in jail after pleading guilty to sexual assault in the third degree in Upshur County Circuit Court Wednesday.
Minter W. Humphrey, 57, pleaded guilty via an information to the charge in connection with an incident that occurred with a 13-year-old girl in 2019.
The plea agreement with Upshur County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Hinkle also requires Humphrey to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and could include extended supervision for up to 50 years. Pleading guilty via an information means Humphrey waived his right for a 16-member grand jury to hear his case.
Humphrey was released on bond but had to report to the parole office immediately to set up a pre-sentence investigation, and he will have to undergo a sex offender evaluation. His sentencing date is set for 3 p.m. Nov. 10.
Twenty-Sixth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Jacob Reger asked Humphrey to describe his crimes, and Humphrey admitted to being in the victim’s bedroom, where he engaged in a sexual act with the victim, a relative, who he knew was under 16 years of age.
Hinkle noted that the plea agreement spares the teenage victim from having to testify.
According to state code, sexual assault in the third degree is when a person “engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is mentally defective or mentally incapacitated,” or when a person “being 16 years old or more, engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is less than 16 years old and who is at least four years younger than the defendant.”
The original story about Humphrey’s arrest can be found here.
In other unrelated court news, Joseph Ryan Tomasula, 20, pled guilty to fleeing with reckless indifference in reference to an incident that occurred in 2020.
The plea agreement states that once Tomasula successfully completes deferred adjudication, the charge will be lessened to reckless driving. Failure to do so could result in a sentence up to five years in the penitentiary.
Reger told Tomasula he would essentially be on probation and any traffic violations would also violate the deferred adjudication.
Tomasula said he was driving down Route 33 at a high rate of speed, approximately 130 mph, when he drove past a patrolling officer’s vehicle. The officer initiated his traffic lights and Tomasula did not pull over. He said he pulled onto Brushy Fork Road, where he lost the officer, but later turned himself in the same day.