August 14, 1997
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Thursday, August 14, 1997Man gets 13 years in sex-abuse case
Last modified at 2:51 p.m. on Thursday, August 14, 1997
By SVEND HOLST
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
The judge described Carlton Boozer as a man who, for a time, terrorized a woman and her two children in a Juneau home.
He threatened to kill them if they went to police, and forced sex on one of the girls when she was 13, prosecutors said.
He's going to prison.
On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Tom Jahnke, a Ketchikan judge assigned to the case, sentenced Boozer, 35, to 13 years in prison with another seven years suspended. The sentence, which includes five years of probation and an order Boozer pay $5,000 in restitution to the victim's family, came after Boozer entered a sentencing agreement under which he pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor.
Boozer may also spend time in a halfway house and inpatient treatment for alcoholism if his probation officer orders it.
The minimum sentence Boozer could have been given under presumptive sentencing laws was six years for each offense. According to court records, he had two prior felony convictions in Alaska - for failing to appear in an Anchorage court and for a 1993 assault in Juneau.
Assistant District Attorney Dwayne McConnell said he had another two felony convictions in Maryland in the 1980s.
The two counts Boozer pleaded no contest to started out as six under a grand jury indictment that followed initial charges in October and included three counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. Each of those charges, unclassified felonies, can bring up to 30-year jail terms.
Following the filing of several motions, the addition of misdemeanor assault charges boosted the number of charges against Boozer to 10.
McConnell said the two incidents at the core of the state's case occurred in May 1996. The girl told her father, in Washington state, about Boozer's actions the following August.
The first incident started after Boozer picked up the 13-year-old at school. He took her home and suggested she model for him as practice for a possible professional career. He took photos of her with different outfits on, then suggested she take off some clothes, then suggested she pose nude. The girl did.
According to McConnell, Boozer finished up the photo session by having sex with her.
The second incident, about two weeks after the first, took place as the girl was watching cartoons. According to a motion filed by McConnell, the girl told Boozer she didn't want him to touch her, but he told her a doctor had told him to check her. He then, McConnell alleged, again had sex with her.
These acts took place, McConnell said, at a time when Boozer had the girl, her sister and her mother - his girlfriend - in a state of fear. Testimony from family members included accounts of Boozer choking, hitting and threatening them while he lived at the mother's home in the Lemon Creek area.
``It was certainly a reign of terror for the mother and her two daughters,'' McConnell said.
As he sentenced Boozer, Jahnke said Boozer had yet to accept that what he did was wrong. Though Boozer may be bright, he said, his behavior has been anti-social for a long time.
``Mr. Boozer has a very bad record,'' Jahnke said. ``His record is punctuated by ... serious, even frightening convictions.
``He intimidated this family.''
Boozer, addressing the court before his sentence, said he wasn't as bad, not a ``Charles Manson,'' as he'd been made out to be.
``I apologize for any harm I may have caused ...,'' Boozer said. ``I don't feel like I'm a threat to society. I am rehabilitatable.''
Tom Meyer, Boozer's public advocate, said Jahnke should focus on giving his client an opportunity to improve himself rather than isolating Boozer from society. Boozer, he said, may be a threat to those he lives with, but not to society as a whole.
``The state thinks he's a threat to everybody,'' Meyer said. ``He is certainly an intelligent person, but he does need structure.''
Meyer said Jahnke did a good job of balancing the various factors he considered - keeping rehabilitation a goal. When Boozer gets out, he said, he'll have some support.
``His family was supportive and (is) something for him to fall back onto,'' Meyer said.
The victim of the sexual abuse, now, 15, typed a letter to the judge. It begins: ``Thank God for inventing law.''
The girl described her moodiness and inability to trust friends following Boozer's acts, and what she remembers of the time he lived in her home.
``Every day when I would get home from school I was so afraid of what Carlton (Boozer) might do that day,'' she wrote. ``It was like every day he would do something to us, yell, hit my mom and I ... What Carlton did to my family and I has changed all of us, but, I guess, mainly me.''
The girl's mother wrote a similar letter, which described the emotional scars left on the family and her daughter.
``The sentence that Mr. Boozer will serve for his assault against my daughter will not equal the `life' term he left her with,'' she wrote.
Copyright © 1996, 1997 Southeastern Newspaper Corp.
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