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Red Bay man pleads guilty in assault case

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Franklin County Times
A Red Bay man pled guilty to two counts of sexual assault yesterday.
Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Doug Evans said Paul Louis Porter, Jr., 38, of 936 Highway 15 in Red Bay, decided to plead guilty to both counts of second-degree sexual assault in the midst of his trial.
He was charged with sexual assault earlier this year after the victim, a 15-year-old girl, reported Porter had fondled her on two separate occasions.
"We had already heard from two witnesses when Mr. Porter decided that he did not want to proceed with the trial," Evans said. "This is very unusual."
Second-degree sexual conduct is a misdemeanor unless two convictions are obtained in one year.
"Mr. Porter's plea of guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual assault bumps the charge up to a Class C felony," Evans said.
According to the Alabama Criminal Code, a Class C felony is punishable with one year and one day to 10 years in prison upon conviction. Evans said that he expects Porter to be sentenced in January.
Porter has been incarcerated at the Franklin County Jail since his arrest earlier this year, but now faces new charges of promoting prison contraband after deputes found him in possession a weapon Monday night.
Franklin County Sheriff Larry Plott said deputies recovered a pen with a spring-loaded mechanism, loaded with a and a .22 caliber bullet.
"It was like a firing pen which could have been used to cause injury," Plott said.
Plott said the weapon was found during a search of Porter's cell and that he turned it over to authorities when he was confronted.
Investigators are unsure how, when or if Porter intended the weapon and he remains in the Franklin County Jail pending sentencing next month.

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