The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

May 2, 2013

Court rejects bid to drop ‘violent predator’ label

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

MERCER COUNTY — Pennsylvania State Superior Court agreed Monday that Kenneth F. McCutcheon is a sexually violent predator, making him subject to more-stringent reporting requirements once he is released from prison.

McCutcheon, 50, pleaded guilty to a charge of indecent assault for exposing himself to a 20-year-old man with diminished developmental abilities, demanding that the victim touch him and pleasuring himself when the victim tried to walk away on Sept. 3, 2010, in Sharon, police said.

McCutcheon was sentenced by Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge John C. Reed to 1 1/2 to 5 years in prison.

McCutcheon’s sole appeal issue was to challenge Reed’s designation that he is a sexually violent predator.

McCutcheon argued that he did not exceed the force necessary to commit the offense; that he did not create an environment to attack the victim; that the contact was minor; that there was no specific evidence about the victim’s mental age; and that he had had no relevant criminal conduct for 22 years prior to this offense.

Brenda L. Manno, a member of the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board, who frequently makes recommendations on sex cases in Mercer County, said she believes McCutcheon is a sexually violent predator because he had four previous sexually related convictions on charges of simple assault and indecent exposure; his victims were of both sexes and various ages and mental capacities; juvenile and adult detentions did not deter his behavior; and he has not had mental health evaluations or counseling.

McCutcheon has been unable or unwilling to control his sexual behavior, she said.

Based on Manno’s testimony, Reed dubbed McCutcheon a sexually violent predator.

Judge John L. Musmanno, writing for a three-judge panel of Superior Court, called Reed’s reasoning “sound” and accepted his written opinion, which was attached to the appellate court’s opinion.