When asked if he agreed with the Department of Probation and Parole's pre-sentence investigation report, Diamond Ray Akers, charged with nine counts of first-degree sexual abuse, hesitated.
“She [a witness in the case] said I called her a you-know-what, but I didn't,” Akers said. “It don't mean much.”
Akers, 62, of Grethel, waived his objection to the “small discrepancy,” under the advice of his attorney, public advocate Jane Harlan. He received three sets of consecutive two-year sentences for the charges brought out against him by three of his grandchildren, who were under the age of 12 at the time of the abuse (between December 2004 and May 2005).
“Mr. Akers, I've watched you through the progression of this case and there's not much else I can add other than to say that the people we should and must look to for guidance, assistance and help are our parents and grandparents,” Circuit Judge Danny P. Caudill said. “Here, we have a person with that title who has taken advantage of several kids ... It shouldn't be. It shouldn't be. It shouldn't be.”
Caudill said he agreed with the commonwealth attorney's offer only because the plea arrangement was in the best interest of the children involved. He emphasized the community's obligation to children.
Before being detained, Akers asked to address the court.
“I want you to write out a paper that says if it ever happens again, I want life, no parole,” Akers said. “I'll sign it.”
“If I could have done that, I would have done it today,” Caudill told him. “I wish there was some way we could heal all the wrong done to children, but we can't. I can just mete out justice on a case-by-case basis.”
Caudill ordered that Akers register as a lifetime sex offender, submit blood samples for future testing, and enroll in a sex offender treatment program. He will be placed under a three-year conditional discharge upon his release. He was ordered to have no contact with any child under 18, or with his grandchildren, unless the visit has been approved and is supervised.