Andrew Daugherty, a Starkey man accused of sexually exploiting a child over a seven-year period in Yates County and the Southern Tier, pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges earlier this week. His guilty plea is expected to result in life imprisonment.
Daugherty admitted to the felony charges of predatory sexual assault against a child, sex trafficking against a child, and compelling prostitution. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month in Yates County Court to an aggregate term of 40 years to life behind bars.
Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella praised the New York State Police investigators and troopers for building a strong case against Daugherty, which led to his acceptance of the plea. While the plea is a significant step towards closure for the victim, Casella noted that there are still ten pending cases that need resolution.
In his statement, Casella detailed the charges against Daugherty and expressed gratitude for the swift outcome that ensures the perpetrator will never have contact with or prey on vulnerable children again. The investigation’s success sends a clear message to others who might engage in similar criminal activities.
Casella also addressed inquiries about the release of some defendants on bail. He explained that the courts must follow the bail reform law, considering specific factors such as the defendant’s criminal history and financial means, rather than the strength of the case or the potential risk to the public. Casella emphasized that the primary purpose of bail is to ensure a defendant’s return to court.
Daugherty’s sentencing is set for June 20, 2023, at 10:45 AM. As other cases continue to progress, the community hopes for further closure and justice for the victim.
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