Church Hill man sentenced to 11 years for sexual assault of woman

Albert Steven Tate (Photo credit: Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney)

A Church Hill man was sentenced to 11 years in prison after he entered an Alford plea in connection with a July 2016 sexual assault.

The Alford plea meant 41-year-old Albert Steven Tate admitted there was enough evidence to convict him in a trial, but he does not admit guilt.

The sentencing was given on Tuesday. According to Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney Dan Fellhauer, Tate met the victim through the "Meet Me" app. Despite being married, Tate also had Plenty of Fish, Livelinks, and Facebook accounts under the alias Stephen Moore.

The victim became suspicious that he was married and broke off contact. Fellhauer said the assault occurred when he contacted the victim under the guise of meeting to apologize and explain himself. Once it was reported to law enforcement, it was discovered that Tate was using an alias. Tate later messaged to inquire if the victim had called "the cops." Investigators had the victim set up a meeting with Tate through the app at a Super 8 Motel. After checking in, authorities took Tate into custody.

Tate was held without bond and then sent a coded message soliciting a family member's aid and outlining and escape plan from the Scott County Courthouse at his next hearing. The family member was instructed to park a vehicle with a full tank of gas, clothes and cash, among other things. That witness cooperated from the beginning and when questioned by the prosecution at a hearing, Tate could not deny sending the letter. Tate was later convicted of attempted escape and sentenced to three years, with two years suspended.

Tate's total sentence of 54 years with 42 suspended was for the charges of rape, sodomy, sexual object penetration and the attempted escape. Following the 12-year sentence, he must register as a sex offender, and serve probation.

"The victim was extremely brave in reporting this crime and showed extreme courage by testifying in court and seeing the prosecution of the case all the way through," Fellhauer said. "When victims stand up like this, it's not easy, but we hope it gives others the strength to come forward as well. When someone is convicted of this type of crime and has been operating under a false name or anonymously on the web there is a concern there may be other victims."

If anyone believes they are a victim of Tate, they are asked to contact law enforcement.

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