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INDEPENDENCE — A sentencing hearing has been delayed for a Galax man convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual battery.
Freddie Lee Sweet Jr., 67, was found guilty of both charges at a jury trial earlier this summer in Grayson County Circuit Court.
According to Grayson Commonwealth's Attorney Doug Vaught, the defense made a motion to reschedule the hearing because the trial transcript will not be ready by Aug. 18, the day originally set for the hearing. “They argued that it was necessary to have the prepared transcript in hand to assist in preparation of their post-trial motions,” he said.
Vaught objected to the continuance requested by attorneys Mike Untiedt and Terry Kilgore.
Judge Berg E. Sergent, the judge assigned by the Virginia Supreme Court to hear the case, granted the defense motion.
(Grayson Circuit Court Judge Brett Geisler stepped aside in the case because of a connection with the Sweet family.)
The sentencing will be continued until Sept. 16 at 10 a.m.
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.
He is free on a $25,000 bond.