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Man sentenced for sexually abusing child

Posted: November 18, 2011 - 12:05am

A Juneau man charged with 40 counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor received a sentence of 12 years in jail in Juneau Superior Court last week.

Jesse Aaron Cohen, 28, pleaded guilty in September to two of the 40 counts, all class ‘B’ felonies that carry a minimum of five years in jail and a maximum of 99 for each count. Copies of the judgment were made available to the press and other agencies Thursday.

The other 38 counts against Cohen were dropped in a plea agreement accepted in court by Judge Louis Menendez last Monday.

Menendez sentenced Cohen to 15 years with five years suspended for the first count, with the five years of time concurrent to the second count, and 10 years with five years suspended for the second count, with three years concurrent to the first count. Cohen will have to register as a sex offender annually for 15 years after his release.

Cohen, originally from Ketchikan, was indicted by a grand jury in April of this year that alleged he sexually abused a minor 40 times over a span of eight months between July 2010 and March 2011. Court records indicate Cohen appears to have a history of sexual abuse against others and a juvenile record.

This matter was scheduled to go to trial in July, then again in August, but didn’t.

In a letter to the court, which the victim’s mother read aloud during the sentencing hearing last week, she said she did not want her child to endure a trial.

“While I am angry and hostile over this I know that it is better for my (child’s) sake that this is dealt with in a manner that will allow (my child) to heal without the trauma of a trial ...,” the mother wrote.

Cohen was arrested by Juneau Police Department officers in April of this year for 20 counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor. According to an affidavit filed by prosecutors in April, Cohen admitted to police in a recorded interview on April 25 he sexually abused the minor, who is less than 10 years old, 15 to 20 times.

Court records indicate Menendez considered many factors during the sentencing hearing, including the victim’s particularly young age, the fact Cohen did not come forward himself and the number of counts leveled against him.

This is Cohen’s second felony conviction. Electronic court records on the first felony conviction could not be found.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller or at 523-2263 at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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