Man gets 9 years in prison for attempted sexual assault of Payson woman, 90

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Russell Wheetman (Source: Gila County Sheriff's Office) Russell Wheetman (Source: Gila County Sheriff's Office)
A man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for sexually abusing and attempting to sexually assault a 90-year-old Payson woman last year.

Russell Wheetman, 57, was sentenced Friday in Gila County Superior Court. After his release from prison, Wheetman will be placed on lifetime supervised probation and must register as a sex offender.

Prosecutors said Wheetman was charged with kidnapping, sexual abuse and attempted sexual assault after the attack on Oct. 1. 

No plea deal was offered and Wheetman pleaded guilty to all three offenses last month, according to the Gila County Attorney's Office.

Chief Deputy County Attorney Shawn C. Fuller, who prosecuted the case, argued at the time of sentencing that aggravated, consecutive terms of incarceration were warranted because Wheetman caused significant emotional harm to the elderly victim.

Wheetman previously spent time in a Florida prison for an unrelated nonviolent felony.

Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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