Appeal of Putnam County man’s Craigslist conviction denied


CARMEL – The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court has affirmed the Putnam County Court conviction of a man who pled guilty to a charge of attempted criminal sexual act.
As a result of his plea, Louis West III was sentenced to eight years in state prison and 10 years of parole. He was also required to register as a sex offender and waived his right to appeal his conviction.
West, who was initially charged with sexually assaulting a woman he met on Craigslist, appealed contending his guilty plea was not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently entered as a result of alleged ineffectiveness of legal counsel at trial.
The appellate court upheld the ruling.
“During the plea proceeding, the defendant acknowledged under oath that he was satisfied with his counsel’s representation, that he had not been forced into pleading guilty, and that he was entering the plea freely and voluntarily,” the court ruled. “Accordingly, the county court providently exercised its discretion in denying the defendant’s motion to withdraw his plea of guilty.”
West had used the fake name of Steven Smoltz and met his victim on the Internet. He persuaded her to meet him at the Cold Spring train station and then drove her to a local motel. She refused to enter with him, so he sexually assaulted her in his car.

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