Ryan Cornelio

Ryan Cornelio

The man who broke into homes and stole many pairs of women’s underwear received 90 days in jail and a requirement to get a mental health evaluation as the presiding judge and several victims said they wanted him to get help.

During the Wednesday proceedings, Judge William Morse accepted a plea agreement from the district and prosecuting attorneys.

Ryan Cornelio, 19, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted burglary in the second degree, class C felonies, in March.

Cornelio was ordered to report to the Kodiak Jail Wednesday evening. He will spend 90 days in jail, what Morse called a “shock” incarceration, intended to make a person change their path.

Morse said he hopes the time in jail will “scare the bejesus” out of Cornelio.

Cornelio is also required to undergo a sexuality-focused mental health evaluation by a provider approved by both attorneys, and is required to comply with any recommendations stemming from the evaluation, including up to 90 days of residential treatment.

The terms of the agreement are a “suspended imposition of sentence.” Morse said if Cornelio follows all the outlined requirements while on his five-year probation, the felonies would not show on his record.

Morse said having a felony could prohibit Cornelio from getting jobs or housing, something that wouldn’t be good in the interest of rehabilitation.

Before the sentencing, several of the victims gave statements. One described the experience as “very traumatic” and said she now always keeps her house locked.

Another victim, in tears, said she was scared to be home alone even with a pet.

A third victim, also in tears, said it was scary because Cornelio was able to figure out where she lived and the times she was not home and because he took most of her underwear, including pairs out of her dirty laundry.

Several of the victims stated they wanted Cornelio to get help and they harbored no ill will or hatred toward him.

Cornelio stared straight ahead throughout most of the proceedings. He only spoke when judge William Morse asked him if he had anything to say before sentencing.

Cornelio said, “I am truly sorry,” and acknowledged that he had hurt the victims.

During the sentencing, Morse stated that what Cornelio had done was creepy, breaking into multiple homes sometimes multiple times and stealing underwear.

Morse also acknowledged Cornelio’s young age. He said people in their teenage years and 20s don’t have the same judgment as someone in their 30s, and as a result, the crime is treated differently in hopes of changing the person for the better.

Morse said he did not want Cornelio’s life ruined by what he has done so far.

“You have an opportunity here,” Morse told Cornelio at the end of the hearing.

Cornelio originally faced several burglary charges. He was caught when he broke into a home that was occupied. During the ensuing investigation, police found more than 100 pairs of women’s underwear in his room, according to court documents.

Cornelio has another case against him in which he is accused of violating the conditions of his release.

Cornelio’s public defender Emily Jura said during Wednesday’s proceedings that they would be seeking a trial in that case.

At a previous hearing on the second case, Judge Steve Cole said the alleged violation came down to an interpretation of the release conditions, which allowed errands and visiting relatives, but not attending large functions.

Cornelio had allegedly been seen playing basketball at a park and taking a drive to White Sands Beach while accompanied by a third-party custodian.

Julie Herrmann is a staff reporter at the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Contact her at 486-3227 ext. 627.

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