Ex-student gets at least 20 years on sexual assault charges

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — An expelled Marshall University student was sentenced to at least 20 years of prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting another student.

Joseph Chase Hardin, 23, was sentenced Friday to no less than 10 years but no more then 25 years for each count, meaning he will serve at least 20 year but no more than 50 years, news outlets reported. He was also sentenced to 30 years of supervised release.

Hardin was convicted in August of two counts of second-degree sexual assault.

Jurors also found him not guilty of two counts of sexual assault involving a second female student, news outlets reported.

Hardin was previously convicted of a misdemeanor battery charge after a former Marshall student said he raped her in a dorm room in 2016. Last year he was sentenced to a year in jail for violating probation in that case.

The university expelled Hardin in June 2019 after it learned of the latest allegations.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.