Claiming he didn’t fully understand the details in a plea deal he agreed to last month, Toby Curry appeared in McCreary County Circuit Court Monday to withdraw the agreement, setting the course for his case to go to trial in July.
Curry, a former teacher at McCreary Central High School, who also coached Girls Basketball and Softball at the school, is accused of using his cell phone to communicate with a minor under the age of 18 with the intention of engaging in sexual acts with the victim.
Last month, a conditional plea agreement was reached between Curry and the Commonwealths Attorneys Office, which would include a three-year sentence (with credit for time served) and registration on the Sex Offender Registry.
Following the agreement Curry sent a letter to Circuit Court Judge Dan Ballou informing him of his desire to withdraw the agreement based on the fact he was not aware that it would include his name listed in the registry for 20 years.
“The circumstances of the conditional plea were not fully explained to me and I was not made aware at the time I signed it that I would have to go through probation/parole, sentencing, and/or HIV testing,” the letter states. “Had these factors been addressed, there is no way I would have signed the conditional plea. I wish to maintain my original not guilty plea and proceed to a trial by jury.”
During Court Monday Curry’s attorney, David Cross, stated he himself had failed to understand the severity of the terms of the agreement, and as a result, was not properly able to convey to his client the length of time Curry would be required to be on the sex offender registry
“I failed to properly inform Mr. Curry,” Cross said. “The fair thing is to allow Mr. Curry to withdraw his plea.”
“I didn’t tell him enough since there were things I didn’t know,” Cross added.
Assistant Commonwealths Attorney Robert Stephens objected to the motion, stating the agreement was made in good faith and the 20-year inclusion on the list was defined in the statue governing the case.
“We were ready to try (the case),” Stephens argued. “It is not right.”
“He should live by that agreement,” he added.
Judge Ballou ultimately sided with the defense, stating if Curry was truly unaware of the full implications of the agreement it would place a huge burden on him that would not be right.
Judge Ballou upheld the motion to withdraw the plea agreement, but insisted the case would now go to trial, with a July 18 date set.
The conditional aspect of the agreement is based on an appeal filed in the Kentucky Court of Appeals concerning a disallowed motion to dismiss the charges at a previous Court hearing.
That appeal has yet to be heard.