Transylvania Thieves Seek Reduced Sentences

Transylvania Thieves Seek Reduced Sentences

Four men who were sentenced in early December to more than seven years in prison for theft and assault at Transylvania University library in Lexington, Kentucky, have filed an appeal for a reduced prison term. Eric Borsuk, Charles Allen II, Warren C. Lipka, and Spencer W. Reinhard are contesting the finding by U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer Coffman that they used a dangerous weapon on Special Collections Librarian Betty Jean Gooch during the December 17, 2004, robbery.

Federal prosecutors argued during the sentencing hearing that Lipka used a stun gun to subdue Gooch, while defense lawyers countered that the men used a stun pen—a device that employs minimal electric shock with no lasting harm, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported December 27. No stun pen was found in the men’s possession, although police found several stun guns at a house where three of the men lived at the time of the incident.

Gooch has since sued the men for causing her severe mental, emotional, and physical suffering.

A ruling by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the men’s favor would reduce their sentences by as much as 17 months.

Posted December 30, 2005.