LOVINGSTON — After being found guilty in May of sexually abusing an underage girl, a Shipman man was sentenced Friday to 17 years in prison.
Kevin Matthew Ramsey, 34, was found guilty in May in Nelson County Circuit Court on one count of rape and multiple felony charges of object sexual penetration, aggravated sexual battery, and indecent exposure or liberties with a child.
A jury returned its verdict after about four hours of deliberation and recommended a 17-year sentence.
The case was tried over a two-day period and relied mostly on the testimonies of those involved and officials associated with the case. The victim, 14 at the time of the trial in May, testified to three separate incidents of sexual abuse that took place across two years from May 2018 to April 2020.
On Friday, Bryan Jones, Ramsey’s defense attorney, argued in favor of suspending 12 years of the sentence, reducing the total active years to five.
Judge Michael Doucette upheld the jury’s recommendation of 17 years and also added a three-year probation period to follow the sentence.
“I’ve spent 35 years as a prosecutor and a judge and I have only come close to crying two times. And this case was one of them,” Doucette said prior to sentencing Ramsey.
The victim did not speak at the sentencing hearing.
Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Erik Laub said in his arguments the jury “absolutely got it right” with the sentencing guidelines applied to the case.
Laub said at trial what began as relatively innocent interactions escalated to a “waking nightmare” in which the victim was unable to stop the defendant from sexually assaulting her. Ramsey maintained his innocence and denied any inappropriate contact.
Before handing down the sentence Friday, Doucette told Ramsey, “I hope the victim can overcome the trauma caused by the situation, I really do.”