Albert Leroy Golden, 70, pleaded guilty on Thursday to two counts of attempted first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse. He was indicted in January on five counts of first-degree sexual abuse, a Measure 11 crime that could have landed him five 75-month sentences.
The mother of the victims opposed the deal and spoke at the sentencing, saying her children were getting a raw deal.
“I think that’s crap,” she said of the plea bargain.
Instead of prison time, Golden was sentenced to three years on probation with special conditions that apply to sex offenders. Those include lifetime registration as a sex offender and treatment and restrictions on where he can live aimed at keeping him away from children.
He was expected to be released later Thursday. His first destination probably will be a residential treatment facility, and any move after that will have to be approved by his probation officer, said John Bennington, Golden’s attorney.
Golden suffered a stroke before he molested the three children, who lived nearby and helped Golden with his living situation. He was arrested and booked into the county jail on Jan. 20, and since then he has fallen more than five times, had to have hip surgery and was recently confined to his bed because of additional falls.
All of Golden’s hospital and off-site treatment costs must be paid by the county, which already has had to severely reduce the number of available jail beds because of deep budget cuts. But the amount the county has spent on Golden was not released.
Deputy District Attorney Robert Lane said he agreed to let Golden plead to lesser charges and be put on probation to save the county the expense of providing medical care.
“This negotiation is to get him out of our facility and get someone else to pay to care for him,” he said.
Lane also said Golden represents little threat because he can’t even get out of a chair without assistance. He said the probation conditions will ensure he has no opportunity to harm children, and if he violates those conditions he will go to a state prison.
The alternative would be to leave him in the county jail until a trial, but Lane said it could have been many more months or longer before a trial is held.
Edited by Daughter of the Nine Moons, 21 April 2013 - 07:30 PM.
edit to add source