Jeffrey W. Ponton and Leslie Youst

ITHACA, N.Y. — Two Newfield men accused of raping a teen have pleaded guilty to felony first-degree rape, court records show.

Leslie M. Youst pleaded guilty to the charge in April. According to documents, it is still undetermined whether he will be sentenced as a youthful offender or adult. If he is sentenced as a youth, he will face one-and-a-third to four years of incarceration. If sentenced as an adult, he faces seven years in prison and 20 years of post-release supervision.

Judge Richard Rich will ultimately determine which sentence he receives.

Jeffrey W. Ponton and Leslie Youst
Jeffrey W. Ponton and Leslie M. Youst

Youst was 18 when he and Jeffrey W. Ponton, 46, were taken into custody in February after raping a teen on Jan. 31 in the town of Newfield.

Ponton’s plea deal indicates that he will be incarcerated for 10 years with 20 years of post-release supervision. A 38-year order of protection will also be issued against him.

A jail official said Tuesday that both men are still incarcerated at the Tompkins County Jail on $100,000 bail or $200,000 bond.  They’re scheduled to be sentenced May 26 at the Tompkins County courthouse.

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.