Repeat sex offender gets 32 years
By Ruth Ann Krause Post-Tribune correspondent September 26, 2012 4:06PM
Updated: October 29, 2012 6:35AM
Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. sentenced a Gary man with a previous child molesting conviction to 32 years for attempted rape, criminal confinement and being a repeat sex offender.
Jermaine Marcel Nash, 27, had been on parole for molesting two young children only about one month before he tried to rape a 14-year-old girl on July 19, 2011, at her home in the Glen Park section of Gary.
At Nash’s sentencing hearing Wednesday, the girl’s mother and grandmother said the once-outgoing child has become hardened and withdrawn. Her grades have dropped, and the entire family has been affected.
Nash’s cousin, Alta Lavizzo, said Nash has never acted his age and was in special education classes in school. “His mental age never added up to his physical age,” she said.
She said he took the advice of his mother, whom Lavizzo said was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and took the case to trial despite a favorable plea agreement.
Nash’s mother was ejected from the courtroom for a brief outburst.
Deputy prosecutor Michelle Jatkiewicz argued for a 35-year sentence in light of Nash’s prior convictions and the risk to the community. “Mr. Jermaine Nash is a sexual predator,” Jatkiewicz said.
Defense attorney Teresa Hollandsworth sought leniency based on Nash’s diminished mental capacity and his difficult upbringing that included foster care. After he was incarcerated at the Lake County Jail, Nash was diagnosed with schizophrenia and has since been taking medication prescribed at the jail, Hollandsworth said.
Nash apologized to the girl and her family and told Stefaniak he needs help.
A jury convicted Nash after about four hours of deliberation on Aug. 15.
Stefaniak imposed consecutive sentences of 18 years for attempted rape and six years for confinement. Nash received eight years for being a repeat sex offender. He was sentenced in December 2006 to 14 years for molesting two children, a boy and girl.