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Massena man to serve probation in sex-assault case

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CANTON — A Massena man was sentenced Friday to six years’ probation in connection with a 2010 sexual assault case.

Media J. Provost IV, 27, initially pleaded guilty to one felony count of third-degree rape during an April 2012 appearance before Judge Jerome J. Richards. In accordance with a plea deal reached last year, the original plea was vacated Friday following completion of one year of interim probation, with Provost permitted to plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of sexual misconduct instead.

Mr. Provost admitted forcing a woman to have sex with him on Aug. 6, 2010 at a Park Avenue address in Massena. The woman told investigators she and Mr. Provost were staying in a camper behind a friend’s home when he pinned her to the bed and had sex with her against her will.

Assistant District Attorney Jonathan L. Becker said Mr. Provost was convicted in September in Franklin County Court on a charge of third-degree criminal sex act in connection with an earlier incident involving the same victim in that county. He received a sentence of 10 years’ probation in that case and was required to register as a level 1 sex offender, Mr. Becker said.

Defense attorney Edward F. Narrow told the court that his client has moved from Franklin County to Massena, got married in September, and despite being laid off has stayed busy seeking construction jobs while complying with his probation terms in both counties.

Mr. Becker said the prosecution had no objections to Mr. Provost receiving probation, as agreed, with one year of credit for the interim probation already served.

In addition to $1,300 in fines and fees and an order of protection barring him from contact with the victim, Mr. Provost also will be subject to a sex-offender classification hearing in the St. Lawrence County case, set for May 10.

In other court action Friday:

Michael P. Lavine, 58, Lawrenceville, was sentenced to three years’ probation after pleading guilty in December to two counts of fourth-degree criminal sale of marijuana for June 2011 incidents in the town of Lawrence. Mr. Lavine has paid $425 in restitution, Mr. Narrow, his attorney, said.

Mr. Narrow successfully argued against Mr. Lavine’s driving privileges being revoked, as would otherwise be required, telling Judge Richards that his client is the operator of a small auto repair business, which requires him to drive, and that he is sole caregiver to his ailing wife.

The judge cautioned Mr. Lavine, however, about statements he allegedly made to probation officers that marijuana should be legalized.

“It’s still a drug. It’s still illegal. Follow the rules,” the judge said.

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