A Haines man was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing a minor over a period of 7 years.
Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins sentenced Alfred Anderson Jr., 41, to 35 years in prison, with 10 suspended, and 10 years probation. He also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Collins said the sentence was intended to send a message and stand as a deterrent that this kind of behavior is not acceptable in society.
"That message is that these offenses are dealt with under our current code much like causing a death of a human being, and we know the long-term significant impact this kind of conduct can have on children as they mature," she said.
Anderson could have one-third of his sentenced reduced for good behavior.
The sentencing hearing lasted more than an hour Thursday morning and was filled with highly emotional testimony by the victim's family and a strong message of resolve against sexual abuse from the prosecution.
The victim's mother, whose full name was not disclosed, addressed the court phone.
"The pain I feel for my daughter is indescribable and I blame myself every day for not protecting my child like a parent is supposed to, and it tears me apart every time I think about it," she said. "We will always feel the pain of what he did."
Anderson was originally indicted on 29 counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree. The victim's mother said she was extremely upset when she learned that Anderson had reached a plea agreement with the state to consolidate the charges into one count. She also said Anderson's conviction means her daughter can move on.
"When Mr. Anderson was arrested and my daughter realized she was safe and he wasn't gonna get out anytime soon, she was lit up with smiles," she said. "Now she sees the world in a brighter view. Now she realizes that her past life is not how her life was supposed to be happening, and she's finally relieved and feels safe."
Anderson was choked up with tears as he read an apology letter to the victim and her family. He told the court that he still doesn't understand why he committed the crimes.
"I can't begin to comprehend what you must be going through right now, knowing the damage that I've caused," he told the victim. "I'll never ask you for forgiveness because I know what I've done is unforgivable. ... What I did was wrong."
Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams said it was important for the state to impose a strong sentence to send a message that resonates beyond the courtroom.
"Prolonged sexual abuse is the kind of behavior that we ... cannot tolerate," she said. "Not from Mr. Anderson and not from anybody, and a sentence of a significant length of time such as the one the state proposes is appropriate for expressing that message to those who would hear it. We will not tolerate this kind of behavior from him or from anyone."
Contact reporter Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.