Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Man, 65, gets 13 years as molester

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer


LEBANON - Even as a judge sentenced him to 13 years in prison, Sonia Laseur denied he molested two young girls when he baby-sat them last year.

"I'm still saying I didn't do it," the 65-year-old Morrow man told Judge P. Daniel Fedders on Monday as the girls and their mothers looked on from the gallery.

Even though Ohio law suggests that defendants with no criminal record should receive a minimum sentence, Judge Fedders said five years wasn't enough for Mr. Laseur.

He noted the age of the girls - 10 and 11 - and that incidents involving the older girl had occurred repeatedly over at least a year.

"You have not shown an ounce of contrition for what you did," Judge Fedders said.

He also classified Mr. Laseur as a sexual predator.

Mr. Laseur faced a maximum of 23 years in prison after a Warren County common pleas jury convicted him of one count of attempted rape and three counts of gross sexual imposition. Jurors acquitted him of two more serious charges of rape involving oral sex with one of the girls.

The incidents occurred when Mr. Laseur's wife, who was hired to watch the children, was out on errands, authorities said.

Morrow Officer Heath Kilburn arrested Mr. Laseur in June after a third girl said Mr. Laseur had exposed himself to her and another girl. Mr. Laseur was accused in a civil case of stalking the third girl.

Assistant Prosecutor Leslie Meyer said it was clear Mr. Laseur was pursuing the third girl for sexual gratification while one of the other victims was out of the state on vacation.

Defense attorney Kevin Thornton had asked Judge Fedders for mercy, noting Mr. Laseur's age and his failing health. Mr. Laseur has suffered six heart attacks and had seven bypass surgeries, Mr. Thornton said.

E-mail smclaughlin@enquirer.com

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