Saturday, March 6, 2010

Liberty University professor sentenced to 6 months for groping student in office

A former Liberty University professor was sentenced to 6 months in jail and 5 years suspended by a Lynchburg, VA judge Friday for molesting a 21 year old student of his. Joshua Young Moon, 45 and of Durham, NC, molested a then 21 year old student April 21 while she fell asleep during a massage in his office. Moon, her statistics professor, massaged her to relieve injuries suffered during a car crash.

Before being sentenced, Moon apologized to the woman, her family and his family and friends. Moon’s wife offered tearful testimony on his behalf during the hearing, saying she was still proud of him. She staggered when trying to return to her seat and had to be helped by a deputy.

Moon, 45, of Durham, N.C., said he did not intend to hurt the woman, and asked for forgiveness. He said his only hope now would be to live the rest of his life as a useful member of society. “I wish I could go back and do things differently,” he said.

His defense attorney, Randy Trost, said the "socially naive and sexually inexperienced" professor misinterpreted the woman's massage request and help she got on exams as welcoming the groping. He said that his client's psychological testing indicated a low likelihood of further sexual assaults.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Rebecca Wetzel said that Moon was a sexual predator because he used his influence to do the same thing to two victims present in the courtroom. "This defendant is a minister and held a position of trust and authority at Liberty University." She also said that Moon acted out the bondage and massage porn he stored and viewed on his computer at Liberty University. "The defendant took advantage of the fact he had a sleeping woman in his office to act out a pornographic act,” said Wetzel.

Judge Mosby Perrow ordered Moon, who was behind bars after pleading guilty on January 22, to pay for the woman's counseling, serve 2 years of supervised probation, and register as a sex offender and undergo sex offender treatment. He was also orderd to have no contact with the victim or children outside of his family. “If I could give you five years for what you’ve done to your wife, I would give you five years for that, too,”  he said.

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