A 39-year-old Skagway man was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for attempted sexual assault after originally facing up to 30 years in prison for rape.
Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins sentenced Allen Dills to six years in prison with four years suspended and five years of probation for an assault that took place in the early morning hours of Dec. 29, 2008, in Skagway. Collins also required Dills to register as a sex offender for 15 years after he is released from prison.
District Attorney Doug Gardner said in court Friday that he felt the plea agreement was a good compromise when balanced against the risk of going to trial. There was plenty of evidence to go to trial, but Gardner added that sometimes it is better for the victim if a plea agreement can be reached so they don't have to testify.
Assistant public defender David Seid said Dills had not been in trouble with the law for at least 15 years and that he had remorse for his actions.
"He's doing all the right things, including taking responsibility," Seid said.
Gardner said he had concerns about the role alcohol played in the crime.
"Substance abuse is an issue and I don't know the scope of it, but I think it needs to be sorted out," he said.
Collins ordered Dills to complete substance abuse and mental health evaluations and to follow through with any recommendations made by officials. She also ordered Dills to participate and cooperate with a sex offender treatment program.
Collins said she thinks Dills has taken a positive step by expressing remorse and taking responsibility for his actions. While Dills has been sentenced to two years in prison, Collins said the sentence imposed could be reduced by as much as one-third for good behavior.
When Collins asked if Dills had anything to say to the court, he replied, "I'll do whatever needs to be done to get out and do what I came here to do, which is work and stay and not get in any trouble."
Seid raised questions about how the Skagway Police Department handled the investigation of Dills before a plea agreement had been reached a couple months back.
Gardner said in court Friday that he thinks the Skagway Police Department realized there were some issues with Dills' interrogation during the investigation, but he didn't feel that they were done out of malice.
Dills had originally been charged with sexual assault in the first degree for the attack on his former girlfriend, who also was his roommate at the time of the incident. Dills' lawyer had filed a motion to suppress evidence on the charge, claiming that the Skagway Police Department had violated Dills' constitutional rights by illegally detaining him the morning of the incident and conducting an illegal interrogation.
After receiving the report of the assault, police were able to locate Dills at a friend's house around 3 a.m. that morning. His lawyer claims the police entered the home uninvited without a warrant and rousted Dills from a sound sleep. The police began interrogating Dills before taking him to his apartment for more questioning. Then Dills was taken to the police station, where he wrote out a statement at the direction of the police, according to court documents.
Contact reporter Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.