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Vt. high court allows convicted principal to request sentence appeal

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 11:20 AM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A former South Royalton School Principal convicted of secretly recording teenage girls will be allowed to ask a court to consider an appeal of his sentence, according to a Vermont Supreme Court ruling Friday.

Dean Stearns was sentenced last year for secretly recording teenage girls at his Sharon home in 2016 and 2017. He struck a deal in 2018, pleading guilty to two felony counts of promoting a sexual recording or image and five misdemeanor counts of voyeurism. He is serving five years in prison with an additional 10 to 15 years suspended and probation following his release.

The superior court dismissed his motion for sentence reconsideration, saying he had missed a 90-day window. But in their ruling Friday, The Vermont Supreme Court disagreed, saying the motion was timely. The matter has been sent back to the lower court for consideration.

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