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Caroline man gets 1-year sentence in sex case

A Caroline County man convicted of having sex with his highly intoxicated female roommate was sentenced to a year in jail Thursday.

Andrew Joseph Gropp, 50, pleaded guilty in May to aggravated sexual battery in Caroline Circuit Court as part of a plea agreement. One count of rape, object sexual penetration and three counts of sodomy were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea.

His guilty plea was an Alford plea, which means he did not admit guilt, but acknowledged that there was enough evidence for a conviction.

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison with all but one year suspended.

According to Caroline Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Diane Abato, the sentence was on the high end of the sentencing guidelines, which ranges from one day to three months.

According to a summary of facts in the plea agreement, the victim was renting a room in Gropp’s house in Lake Land’Or. Abato said the two did not have an intimate relationship, nor were they related, but she did look at him as an uncle.

On Aug. 5, 2012, the then-27-year-old victim went to a pool party with some friends, but had too much to drink, Abato said in court. Her friends drove her home and put her in bed and let Gropp know the situation before leaving, she said.

When the now-29-year-old victim woke up, she said Gropp was on top of her, having sex with her.

Under the terms of the suspended sentence, Gropp must be of good behavior for the rest of his life, have no contact with the victim, be on supervised probation and register as a sex offender.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419