BRENTWOOD — A judge has denied a motion to impose suspended prison time for former Nottingham state representative Kyle Tasker, who pleaded guilty to trying to entice a 14-year-old girl for sex in 2016.
In his order following a hearing last week, Rockingham County Superior Court Judge Andrew Schulman found county prosecutors didn’t prove that Tasker had attempted to contact the victim in his criminal case when he sent a Facebook friend request to her friend while he was on work-release in April 2019.
Tasker is prohibited from contacting the victim or her family as a condition of his sentence.
The victim’s friend didn’t accept the request, but if she had, it’s possible that Tasker would have been able to view the victim’s Facebook page and contact her directly
“The court finds that the state has failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant had the intent to engage in actual contact with the victim herself. He might have wished to establish some sort of real world relationship with the person he ‘friended.’
“Alternatively, the defendant might have been hoping to view the victim’s Facebook page. That would be a pathological and very troubling goal, but it would not amount to contact in violation of the sentencing order. More accurately, at the very least, the sentencing documents do not prohibit defendant from looking at information the victim posts on the Internet,” Schulman wrote in his order.
Tasker, 34, pleaded guilty in May 2017 to five counts of possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute and four counts of prohibited use of a computer.
He was sentenced to serve 3-10 years in prison, but was also given suspended time, some of which prosecutors had hoped the court would impose after they accused him of violating conditions of his sentence by sending the request to the victim’s friend.
The former Republican legislator was to be paroled in May 2019, but he was sanctioned for violating prison rules while on work-release.
He’s expected to seek parole again now that he won’t face additional prison time following the judge’s ruling.
While he denied the motion to impose the suspended time, Schulman issued a warning to Tasker.
“All of this said, the defendant is warned that his serious lapses in judgment will be taken into consideration as relevant sentencing facts in the event that this case returns to the court for imposition of the sentence on other grounds,” he wrote.