Man in child-sex case let go without usual conditions
The Associated Press
Article Launched: 01/12/2007 03:01:47 AM EST
Friday, January 12
BENNINGTON (AP) — A man who got a suspended sentence for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old boy was released without the usual court-ordered condition that he not approach the victim, officials say.
Andrew C. James, 37, of Manchester, avoided jail because the state didn't want to go to trial with a case in which the victim would have had to testify. He was given a sentence of 30 months to five years, all suspended, with the condition that he receive sex-offender treatment.
"There's nothing in the order to require him to stay away from the victim," said David Miner, Bennington district manager for the Vermont Department of Probation and Parole. "We will tell him to, for safety reasons. But this doesn't leave us a whole lot of authority."
Bennington County Deputy State's Attorney Andrew Costello said he wasn't aware that the formal request for the condition that James stay away from the victim had not been filed.
"If he's not under sex offender conditions, that's a paperwork error," Costello said. "That will be fixed immediately."
Public Defender Frederick Bragdon, who represented James, said he wouldn't object, because the condition was part of the plea deal he negotiated with the state's attorney's office.
"That was the bargain," Bragdon said. "If the state asks for them, I would sign off on it and so would Mr. James."
James pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of aggravated sexual assault on a victim less than 10 years old. The victim, now five, told police James had assaulted him on at least 10 different occasions.