A 20-year-old man agreed to serve at least four years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to two sex crimes against a 7-year-old girl.
Before he changed his plea, Ted J. Peden was scheduled to stand trial this week in Juneau Superior Court. A grand jury indicted him in July on 29 counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and one count of solicitation to commit first-degree sexual abuse of a minor.
He agreed Wednesday to plead guilty to two of the second-degree charges. The agreement calls for Peden to be sentenced to serve a minimum of four years in the case, defense attorney Julie Willoughby told Judge Larry Weeks.
Under state law, each charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. Judges also consider sentences given people convicted of similar crimes and what higher courts have written about them.
Weeks scheduled sentencing for June 8. Willoughby said the defense would need about two hours to present its side.
The agreement dismisses the 29 other counts in the indictment.
Assistant District Attorney Doug Gardner described the sexual contact alleged in the indictment. He told the judge that the incidents of touching occurred at least once a week for 26 weeks, between August 2003 and May 2004.
Before accepting the plea, Weeks gave Peden a few minutes to read the sex-offender registration rules.
"You understand you have to register as a sex offender after you get out of prison?" he asked.
Probation would be required if any prison time is suspended in the sentence. Gardner said the agreement leaves probation matters up to the judge. State law set the maximum probation sentence at 10 years.
Tony Carroll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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