A man formerly living in Juneau pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of sexual abuse of two preteen girls.
Nelson B. Deschene, 35, who was charged with 12 counts of sex crimes - six in the first degree and six in the second degree - pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, one for each girl involved in the case.
Deschene lives in Anchorage and attended the court hearing by telephone.
Each crime is a class B felony, and together they are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines, according to Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins.
"The judge has to impose two years, but she can impose more," said Alaska Senior Attorney Richard Svobodny, who stood in for District Attorney Pat Gullufsen to prosecute the case. Deschene also must pay a mandatory $100 fine and a mandatory $200 incarceration fee.
Between May of 2002 and February 2003, Deschene had sexual contact with each of the girls in the Juneau area. Both girls were under 13 at the time.
Deschene was indicted by a grand jury in July 2003 on 20 counts of sexual abuse of a minor. But the indictment was dismissed after Deschene's lawyer, David Seid, argued that his client's statements were misrepresented in court by a Juneau police officer. In less than a month another grand jury issued a 12-count indictment alleging the same crimes dismissed under the earlier indictment.
The admission of guilt was part of a plea agreement, resulting in all other charges being dropped, Svobodny said. Collins said the plea means Deschene gives up his right to a trial. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 19, in Juneau.
Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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