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Malone man sentenced to prison for rape conviction

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MALONE - A 28-year-old Malone man was sentenced to state prison following his October conviction for first-degree rape after a four-day jury trial.

Michael R. Luckette will spend the next eight years in a state correctional facility, undergo 10 years of post-release supervision and pay $1,375 in fines, fees, and surcharges.

Acting Franklin County Court Judge Kathleen Rogers also signed an order of protection barring Luckette from having any contact with his victim until 2024. Upon his release from prison, Luckette will have to register as a sex offender.

Six of Luckette’s supporters, including friends and family, left the courtroom in tears after the sentence was pronounced.

Prior to his sentencing, it was revealed in a pre-sentence investigation report Luckette suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, for which he takes medication. His attorney, Public Defender Thomas G. Soucia, noted the fact as part of his plea to Judge Rogers to sentence Luckette to the minimum term allowed by law for first-degree rape, which is five years in prison.

Judge Rogers replied that there was no evidence of mental illness presented at trial and “there was no indication he did not know what he was doing” when he forced himself sexually on his then-17-year-old victim in the early morning hours of June 18, 2011.

Judge Rogers also noted that the pre-sentence investigation indicates that Luckette continues to protest his innocence. When she explained her rationale before handing down the sentence, she noted that he told the person who prepared the report that he was never alone with the victim on the night in question, contrary to his and her testimony at trial.

“He admitted she said no, and he held her shoulders while he commenced the act of sexual intercourse,” Judge Rogers said, referring to a statement he made to Malone Village Police following his June 18 arrest. “No means no, he had no right to do that, it is [first-degree rape] by forcible compulsion.”

“That concerns me that he’s denied any responsibility for his actions,” Special Prosecutor Warren County Assistant District Attorney Emilee Davenport said, adding that she feels Luckette is a danger to the community and should get the maximum sentence.

“The people feel a sentence of more than eight years is appropriate for a [first-degree rape] conviction,” Davenport said following the sentencing, adding “however, sentencing always rests at the discretion of the court.”

Soucia said that his client is not a bad person, but isn’t highly-intelligent and simply made a bad decision that he will pay heavily for.

“The lesson I learned from this, as a parent and a father ... when you’re in a situation like Mr. Luckette was in on that evening, you don’t put yourself in that spot (having sex with strangers),” he said. “My client, he’s not a rocket scientist, he’s not a Rhodes scholar.”

Luckette and the victim each testified at trial that they were strangers before the night of the rape.

Soucia said his client plans on filing an appeal.

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