Man pleads guilty in fondling case

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An Oxford man is expected to spend 20 years in prison after pleading guilty this morning to twice fondling a 9-year-old girl last November. Through a plea agreement, Royce Monroe Stephenson, 18, pleaded guilty to two counts of lascivious acts with a child. Prosecutor Rachel Zimmermann said the plea agreement calls for Stephenson to serve two consecutive 10-year terms on the charges. Three second-degree sex abuse charges would be dropped. A sentencing date was not immediately set. Zimmermann said Stephenson's sentence would run concurrent to pending lascivious acts with a child charges in Cedar County. He will be sentenced on those charges May 18, online court records show. According to Johnson County Sheriff's reports: Stephenson, who was 17 at the time of the crimes, fondled a 9-year-old girl on Nov. 2 and Nov. 8 at his residence. Upon release from prison, Stephenson would be required to register on the state's sex offender registry. He also would be placed on parole for the rest of his life.

source: 'Man pleads guilty in fondling case'; www.press-citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2007 05100954/NEWS01/70510002&template=printart; Press-Citizen; 10 May 2007