- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A Leonardtown man has been sentenced to serve 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to committing a second-degree sexual offense with a boy during a nine-year period and acknowledged that prosecutors have evidence that he committed the same crime with another boy.
John Harvey Wood II waived his right to a trial in the case during last week’s plea hearing.
“I made a promise that I wouldn’t [let the case] go that far,” Wood said. “I’m doing [the plea] because I believe it’s the right thing to do.”
St. Mary’s Assistant State’s Attorney Julie White said during the June 1 proceeding that Wood, now 51, was accused by the two victims of engaging in sexual acts with them, and that one of the victims continues to deal with “serious psychological issues.”
Public Defender John Getz said that Wood also suffers from psychological issues, as “he was a victim of the same behavior as a child.”
St. Mary’s Circuit Judge Michael J. Stamm sentenced Wood to 20 years in prison, suspended to the 15-year-term with five years of supervised probation. Wood must be listed on a lifetime sexual offender registry, the judge said, and must serve at least half of his sentence before he is eligible for consideration for early release by the state parole board.
“Is there any chance for parole?” Wood asked earlier during the hearing.
“There’s always a chance for parole,” the judge replied. “I don’t have anything to do with that.”
White said in court that the plea agreement in St. Mary’s does not affect any prosecution of Wood for alleged offenses in Anne Arundel County involving a third victim.