Judge: Teen Who Showed Sex Tape To Friends Must Register As Sex Offender For 25 Years
Jeremiah Horton, 18, was reportedly also sentenced to six months in a rehab facility for nonviolent felony offenders.
HAMILTON COUNTY, OH — A teenager in Ohio who confessed to filming himself having sex with a 14-year-old girl and then sending the video to his classmates has been ordered to register as sex offender for the next 25 years and spend six months in a rehabilitation facility, according to court records.
Jeremiah Horton, 18, was arrested last year after the alleged victim’s mother told police that Horton had secretly recorded sex with her daughter and shared the footage with three of his fellow students at North College Hill High School.
Investigators said they later found additional sexually explicit videos featuring Horton with girls who reportedly did not know they were being recorded.
The school, where Horton was a senior who played football, said he was promptly expelled following the arrest. The three students with whom Horton shared the video — two boys and a girl — were also reportedly arrested, but, because they were all under 18, they were prosecuted as juvenile offenders.
In September 2018, when the alleged crime took place, prosecutors said Horton had been 18 for less than a month.
According to legal documents, Horton was charged with two counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor. If convicted of those charges, Horton could have faced up to three years in prison.
A grand jury reportedly indicted Horton in December 2018. This April, court records indicate, he pleaded guilty to one felony count of child pornography — a charge that requires him to register as a Tier 2 sex offender, updating his address every six months for the next 25 years.
At his sentencing on May 23, Horton reportedly read a letter in which he apologized to the victim and her family, stating, “I'm not proud of what I did, I'm not proud of what happened over the past nine months. I would like to apologize to my father; he's a single parent who works hard to provide for me and the public humiliation I have caused him.”
From the bench, Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Patrick Dinkelacker told Horton, “With the stroke of this pen, I could send you to prison for three years, but I don’t think that’s appropriate. But you did something you shouldn’t have done, obviously. And there’s a price to pay.”
The judge then formally ordered Horton to register as a Tier 2 sex offender and sentenced him to spend six months at River City Correctional Center, which is described on its website as an alternative to prison to rehabilitate nonviolent, felony offenders
Judge Dinkelacker reportedly warned Horton not to engage in any behavior that might violate his parole, saying, “If you come back in front of me for a community control violation, I will sentence you to 36 months in the Ohio Department of Corrections. We're not playing anymore.”
Read more: Cincinnati Enquirer, WKRC, New York Post