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Sweet convicted of sexual battery

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Fred Sweet Jr. of Galax will be sentenced in August for sexually abusing a child.

By Landmark News Service

INDEPENDENCE — A Galax man was convicted last week in Grayson County Circuit Court of two counts of aggravated sexual battery.
A jury of eight women and four men deliberated about three hours last Thursday before finding Fred Sweet Jr., 67, guilty of both charges.
The jury recommended a sentence of five years in prison and a $20,000 fine on one charge and seven years in prison and a $30,000 fine on the second charge.
The alleged offenses occurred April 21, 2007, and involved a girl who was age 5 at the time. A grand jury indicted Sweet in April 2008.
A pre-sentencing report is being prepared before formal sentencing, set for Aug. 18 in Circuit Court. Other motions may be made at the time of sentencing.
Sweet is free on a $25,000 bond.
Grayson County Circuit Court Judge Brett Geisler stepped aside in the case because of a connection with the Sweet family.
Judge Birg Sergent of Pennington Gap of the 13th Judicial Circuit tried the case.
Grayson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Doug Vaught handled the case for the commonwealth.
Sweet was represented by attorneys Mike Untiedt and Terry Kilgore.