Patrick Crist sentencing

Patrick Crist, 27, and his attorney, Sky Pettey, in court last Friday. Photo provided by the Athens County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

By Corinne Colbert

Athens NEWS Editor

An Athens man faces eight to 12 years in prison for stalking, harassing and posting nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend online — some of which were taken while she was a minor.

Patrick Crist, 27, pleaded guilty Friday to eight charges, including extortion, stalking, harassment, nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, according to a press release from the Athens County County Prosecutor’s Office.

In a brief statement in court, the victim told Crist that there had been “no need for your pointless revenge,” according to the release.

The extortion, stalking, harassment and nonconsensual dissemination charges were brought in April. Judge George McCarthy sentenced Crist to three years in prison on those original seven charges, which included three third-degree felonies, two fourth-degree felonies, a first-degree misdemeanor and a third-degree misdemeanor.

Under state sentencing guidelines, three years in prison is the maximum penalty for a third-degree felony. The maximum term for a fourth-degree felony is 18 months.

While investigating the case, Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn’s office learned that some of the images had been made while the victim was underage. In court on Friday, the prosecutor’s office added illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material — a second-degree felony sex offense — to Crist’s charges.

McCarthy accepted a proposal from the prosecution and Crist’s attorney, Sky Pettey, that Crist serve a concurrent term of eight to 12 years on the additional charge.

Under state sentencing guidelines, those guilty of charges including a first- or second-degree felony must receive the maximum penalty for the felony, plus 50%. The maximum prison term for a second-degree felony is eight years, so Crist could have faced a total of 15 years behind bars.

According to the press release from the prosecutor’s office, McCarthy told Crist the only reason he accepted the sentencing proposal was that the victim had agreed to it.

“These are very serious (charges) and very poor lack of judgment on your part,” the release quotes McCarthy speaking to Crist. “You’re paying a significant price for the ridiculous acts committed.”

Crist also will be required to register as a Tier II sex offender, submit to five years of post-release control and to have no contact with the victim, her family or her friends.

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