State v. Thompson
Nebraska Court of Appeals
735 N.W.2d 818 (2007)
While Richard Thomson (defendant) lived with his girlfriend, Thompson engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with his girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter, E.G. In E.G.’s victim statement, E.G. requested that Thompson be sentenced to prison to prevent harm to other children. A counselor who evaluated E.G. concluded that Thompson groomed and seduced E.G. over time and that Thompson had almost certainly committed similar conduct in the past. The counselor recommended that Thompson be sentenced to 10 years in prison. There was no evidence, however, that Thompson previously engaged in similar conduct. Thompson held steady employment, and his criminal record did not contain any violent offenses. The presentence-investigation report (PSI) included statements from a psychologist who evaluated Thomson. The psychologist concluded that Thompson did not portray the characteristics of a sexual predator, but rather struggled with impulse control and was an opportunistic actor. The PSI recommended that the court sentence Thompson to a period of intensive probation that denied unsupervised contact with potential victims. As a result of a plea agreement, Thompson entered no contest pleas to two counts of sexual assault of a child, and the state agreed to remain silent at sentencing. The trial judge sentenced Thompson to 10 years of intensive probation. The judge expressed relief that Thomson did not need to be sent to prison, because the judge believed that Thompson’s size and personality would make him a target. The state appealed on the ground that the sentence was excessively lenient.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sievers, J.)
Concurrence (Inbody, C.J.)
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