Warsaw, N.Y. – A Wyoming County man has been sentenced to prison stemming from failure to pay child support.
Prosecutors say Shannon McDonald pleaded guilty to violating probation. This stemmed from a guilty plea in October to one count of non-support of a child in the first degree.
He had been sentenced to five years’ probation. Last week, he pleaded guilty to failing to follow his probation requirements.
Prosecutors say he owes more than $214,700 in child support.
Before criminal proceedings, McDonald had been held in contempt of court 26 times for violating child support orders, and he was incarcerated family court eight different times.
Prosecutors say this is the first time in the history of Wyoming County someone has been indicted, pleaded guilty and be sentenced for this type of crime.
District Attorney Donald O’Geen released the following statement Monday:
My Office almost never gets involved in the failure to pay child support. There is a system set up, through the Family Court, to hold people accountable for the willful failure to pay. That system did everything it could to make sure that the Defendant paid his child support but, despite holding him in contempt and incarcerating him numerous times, it could not do so. Many families in our community depend on child support. When a person fails to pay that support, it creates a burden on the family and, in many cases, on the social safety net, which ultimately causes law abiding taxpayers to pick up the tab. Make no mistake – this is not a case of a person who misses a payment (or a few payments) or lacks the ability to pay because of a loss of a job or difficult situation. This is a case of a person who repeatedly willfully refuses to pay his support, despite the fact that he was employed and able to do so. I hope this case sends a clear and unequivocal message to those people that fail to pay to support their children.