BOMBSHELL: Kentucky GOP AG Candidate Is Soft on Sex Offenders
September 12, 2023
Coleman Went Easy on Child Predators Despite Claims of Being “Tough on Crime”
Washington, DC — Today, The New Republic reported Russell Coleman’s troubling record of giving sex offenders cushy plea deals.
“The Republican candidate for Kentucky attorney general, Russell Coleman, is campaigning on a promise to be tough on crime, particularly crimes against children. But before running for attorney general, he served as U.S. attorney for the western district of Kentucky—and a closer look at his track record there shows a frightening laxity regarding sex offenders,” reports The New Republic.
“Coleman’s campaign comes at a time when state attorneys general exert increasing influence over how laws are implemented and prosecuted. If he wins in 2024, he would be in charge of enforcing both state and federal laws in Kentucky.”
“But while serving as U.S. attorney, Coleman offered at least 48 plea agreements to people accused of exploitation of or sexual offenses against children. Nearly half of those agreements included dismissing certain charges or recommended sentences far weaker than those the judge ultimately issued, the latter of which rarely happens.”
“One of the most egregious examples is the case of United States v. Leasor. In 2018, Brian Leasor was found in possession of a tablet that had a search history that included multiple terms related to child pornography and sexual exploitation. […] Leasor was charged in July 2019 with attempted receipt of child pornography and accessing with intent to view child pornography. Coleman offered him a deal: In exchange for Leasor pleading guilty, the charge of attempted receipt of child pornography would be dropped. Leasor would go to prison for 10 years and then be free to go. A judge sentenced Leasor in January 2021 to 10 years followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Coleman’s plea agreement had made no mention of supervision after jail.”
“In another case, United States v. Beauchamp, Coleman’s deal was even weaker. Steven Beauchamp was arrested in August 2017 for sending sexually explicit images to someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl but was actually an undercover police officer. Beauchamp also admitted to officers that he had asked the “girl” for nude selfies.”
“Coleman offered Beauchamp a plea agreement for between 15 and 17.5 years in prison and no supervised release. A judge sentenced Beauchamp in July 2018 to 17.5 years in prison and 20 years of supervised release.”
“It is incredibly rare for judges to disagree with plea agreements. Judges will occasionally reject plea agreements if they believe the deal does not sufficiently address the nature of the crime, the victim’s rights, or the public interest. But during Coleman’s time as U.S. attorney, he offered 21 plea agreements that judges rejected as too weak.”
“Coleman’s campaign isn’t dangerous just because of his misleading claims about being tough on crime and child exploitation. His campaign also embraces a lot of language that Republican leaders have used to push back on abortion and LGBTQ rights—two areas where attorney generals have a lot of power.”