3 National Guard soldiers convicted in 2017 sexual assault

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MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Three of four National Guard soldiers accused of involvement in a 2017 sexual assault case have pleaded guilty in Kentucky to misdemeanor sexual misconduct charges.

Anthony Tubolino, 28, Tyler Hart, 22, and Jacob Ruth, 24, accepted plea deals from the Calloway Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and were recommended to serve 12-month sentences each, news outlets reported Wednesday. A circuit judge will formally sentence the men in April.

Co-defendant Austin Dennis, 24, requested a jury trial on his first-degree sodomy charge. That date was set for May 27.

The soldiers were charged in June 2017 after a victim accused them of supplying her with alcohol and sexually assaulting her, according to Kentucky State Police. The soldiers were in Calloway County waiting for a training deployment, news outlets have reported. Tubolino's attorney previously told news outlets the group was off-duty and drinking in a hotel room.

Hart was originally charged with first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse, but pleaded down to two counts of sexual misconduct. Ruth was initially charged with first-degree sodomy and also pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct. Tubolino was charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and unlawful transaction with a minor, as well as driving under the influence. The rape and sodomy charges were amended to sexual misconduct, while the unlawful transaction charge and the DUI remained.

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