The Sonoma News reported on July 15, 2019, that a Sonoma Valley California man’s appeal of a 150-year sentence will not be overturned. A 71-year old man claimed that his age and the lower court’s decision to allow an additional four alleged victims to testify against him were grounds for appeal. The defendant/convict was a former athletic director of a Boys and Girls Club.

The Appeals Court upheld the lower court judgment. The conviction was made final when further appeal avenues were denied. The man was sentenced to six consecutive 25-years sentences for the “continuous sexual abuse of a child and four counts of lewd and lascivious acts upon a child.” The main evidence in the case was the testimony of three victims who were 13, 15, and 16 when the trial was held. They all said that that man “touched their penises on numerous occasions in the defendant’s home and on outings to local pools.”

The additional witnesses claimed that the man committed other sexual offenses against them including repeated penis touching and touching of the groin area.

Is 150 years too long to be just?

The man who was convicted argued that any sentence that cannot possibly be completed during his lifetime is “cruel and unusual punishment.” He claimed that the sentence was essentially life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The appellate court found that the sentence did not violated the cruel and unusual punishment provision of the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment.

The appellate court stated, “Although undoubtedly far longer than defendant’s life expectancy, we cannot say that under current norms defendant’s sentence is ‘grossly disproportionate’ to the severity of his crimes,”

Sexual assault crimes in Maryland

According to the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, some of the child-specific sexual crimes that defendants can be charged with in Maryland are:

  • §3–314. Sexual conduct between correctional or Department of Juvenile Services employee and inmate or confined child
  • §3–315. Continuing course of conduct with child
  • §3–322. Unnatural or perverted sexual practice
  • §3–323. Incest
  • §3–324. Sexual Solicitation of a Minor
  • §3–503. Child kidnapping
  • §3–602. Sexual abuse of a minor
  • §3–603. Sale of minor
  • §11–207. Child pornography
  • §11–208. Possession of visual representation of child under 16 engaged in certain sexual acts
  • §11–209. Hiring minor for prohibited purpose
  • §11–303. Human trafficking
  • §11–305. Abduction of child under 16

Being charged with any sexual assault, sexual abuse, or other sex crime is a very serious offense. If convicted, you will face jail time and severe fines. You will have to register as a sex offender in federal and state databases. You may never get your reputation back.

At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, our Annapolis criminal defense lawyers understand how important it is to have an attorney willing to fight to uphold your rights, which are guaranteed under the Constitution. If you’ve been charged with any Maryland sex crime, call Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law – at 410.777.8103, or fill out this contact form to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The firm represents clients in Annapolis, Ellicott City, Centreville, and throughout the state.