Artcher sentenced in Aledo sex case

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
Aledo Times Record

Cathy Decker/Correspondent

Mark Artcher, 61, of Aledo was sentenced in an Alford plea agreement Monday, Nov. 23, 2020 to a reduced charge of attempted criminal sexual abuse of a minor (under the age of 13). An Alford plea registers a formal claim neither of guilt nor innocence toward charges brought against a defendant in criminal court. The guilty plea for the Class A misdemeanor charge resulted in Artcher receiving a fully negotiated sentence of 24 months probation, $2,500 fine (plus court costs) and 180 days in Mercer County Jail of which he must serve 90 days minus one day for credit already time already served. He is to begin serving his sentence on Jan. 3, 2021 at noon.

The case was based on an April 4, 2019 state police report on an incident that took place at the defendant’s home where a sleepover occurred with the defendant’s daughter and the individual abused. The victim in this case was under the age of 13.

State’s attorney Meeghan Lee said the outcome was entered into by the state “to avoid further victimization of the individuals victimized.” The misdemeanor charge was negotiated down from three Class X felony charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13.

Additional sentencing included that Artcher must cooperate with probation and have no law violations, have no firearms, complete a sexual offender evaluation and any recommended treatment, be registered as a sex offender for 10 years, not have or consume alcohol or drugs and be subject to random testing. He is also to be removed as a teacher.

Lee said there were numerous consultations with the victims and parents and “this is what the victims and parents wanted.” She said there were “several very, very young children involved” who would have had to testify about some very graphic and sensitive stuff. “It was best for the children to move on with their lives. After discussing with the parents we decided not to proceed with a trial,” she said. “No one is happy with the results.”

Artcher was also ordered to have no use of social media (including Internet and text messages), no contact with non-family minors unless supervised and no contact with any victim or their families.