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Soto to get 3 Years Home Detention, Probation & Restitution in K County Case

September 29, 2017

NewsMarshall County prosecutors, Tami Napier and Matt Sarber, were back in Kosciusko County Circuit Court on September 28 for the sentencing of Dr. Mark Soto. Napier and Sarber served as special prosecutors for a six-day trial in August. Soto and two other defendants were indicted by a grand jury in February, 2016.

Originally, Prosecutor Nelson Chipman had been appointed as special prosecutor, but was unable to proceed due to health issues.

The jury in Soto’s case deliberated some six hours before finding him guilty on three of the six counts against him including two counts of corrupt business influence and one count of intimidation.

Indicted along with Soto was former Kosciusko County Sheriff, Aaron Rovenstine. Rovenstine plead guilty to one felony count of the ten counts against him and did not have a jury trial. He was forced to step down as sheriff following the felony conviction.

Soto,63, a minister and former Grace College professor, was handed down a sentence by Special Judge Stephen Bowers that could have meant ten years behind bars. Judge Bowers sentenced him to four years on each count of corrupt business influence. He ordered those sentences to be served concurrently. On the intimidation charge, Judge Bowers sentenced him to 2 years in the DOC to be served consecutive.  He then ruled that the first three years of the concurrent sentences be served on home detention. Home detention will be through the Kosciusko County Community Corrections program. The remaining year was suspended to be served on reporting probation. The two-year sentence was then suspended to be served on probation.

Soto was ordered to pay restitution to four victims totaling some $200,000. Soto agreed to work through the Elkhart County Victims Office Reconciliation program to set up restitution.

The third defendant, Kevin Bronson, testified against Soto during the trial. Bronson is scheduled to be sentenced in Elkhart County on September 29. Bronson was portrayed as a long-time offender and a member of the Aryan Brotherhood.

Several witnesses in the Soto trial testified that they were told the Aryan Brotherhood would do harm to their families if they did not help fund a proposed movie of Bronson’s life.

Carol Anders Correspondent