Home Law Court Report: woman pleads guilty for theft from the elderly

Court Report: woman pleads guilty for theft from the elderly

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An Athens woman faced a sentencing hearing this past Monday in the Athens County Court of Common Pleas after being arrested for multiple offenses committed in 2013.

Leesha Santek pleaded guilty to a fourth degree felony for theft from the elderly or disabled adult, and a fifth degree felony for one charge of possession of heroin and paraphernalia.

On Nov. 15, 2012, Santek was named guardian of Donna Hopstetter, an elderly and disabled woman, by the Athens County Probate Court. From Feb. 1, 2013 to June 18, 2013, Santek withdrew money from Hopstetter’s bank account, eventually totalling $6,225 in stolen money.

This is considered a higher crime with a higher degree of punishment than a regular theft case because Santek knowingly attempted to take advantage of someone with possible impaired judgement due to old age or a disability.

In Ohio, a person facing a fourth degree felony could earn a prison sentence of a maximum of 18 months.

Santek was found in July 2013 to be in possession of heroin, paraphernalia and multiple syringes, but because the amount of heroin found was less than one gram, the charge was just a misdemeanor of the second degree — a maximum of 90 days in jail. Santek’s exact   sentence is still pending at this time.

Also in court for a sentencing hearing this Monday was an Athens man facing two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, one count being in the vicinity of a juvenile.

Lucas Wright was arrested on Aug. 6, 2013 for possession of 4-Methylethcathinone and selling one gram of the substance. Also known as 4-MEC, methylethcathinone is a synthetic stimulant mostly used as the active ingredient in Ecstasy and is considered a schedule one drug unless found in a “bulk” amount.

The drug 4-MEC is still a relatively unknown and unstudied substance. Usually used as an additive for other synthetic drugs, 4-MEC is not as powerful as some of its counterparts like Methylone, also know as M1. These chemicals are typically used when synthesizing what are know as “bath salts”.

Wright pleaded guilty to a third degree felony charge for one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs and a fourth degree felony charge on a second count of aggravated trafficking. A protection order was also placed against Wright.

The outcome of the trial postponed sentencing for further investigation, and bond was continued for Wright. The court will reconvene at a later date.

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