Jan 8, 2006

That Sexual Feeling 2

Detroit man to serve jail time in sexual abuse of baby sitter.

SKOWHEGAN - Jeremy Basford, 29, of Detroit quietly stood by his attorney's side Tuesday in Somerset County Superior Court and requested mercy from Justice Joseph Jabar.

Basford pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual behavior with a 13-year-old baby sitter last summer, but told the judge that he is the sole supporter for his five children, ages 12 to 5 months, and his wife.

"I know what happened that night was terribly, terribly wrong. I apologize to her and her family," Basford said.

He asked for leniency, however, "so as not to become more of a burden to my family than I already have."

Basford admitted to giving the baby sitter alcohol and then forcing her to masturbate him. Basford's wife was away at a hospital with their ill baby, Assistant District Attorney James Mitchell explained.

Mitchell asked Jabar to impose a four-year sentence, while Basford's attorney, Kenneth Fredette of Newport, suggested 60 days.

"There will be a devastating impact on this family if he does extended jail time," Fredette said.

Testifying on behalf of Basford, Caroline Hubbell, a social worker, said the man "does not fit the typical sexual offender profile. He does not constitute a danger to anyone."

Mitchell, however, told Jabar that Basford did not deserve leniency, despite a clean criminal record.

"He robbed a child of her innocence after he gave her alcohol. He warned her if she didn't do it, something bad would happen to her. She now has a great deal of fear and blames herself," Mitchell said. "Sixty days is an insult."

After a short break to read the victim's impact statement, Jabar told Basford that using his family responsibilities to ask for leniency was not acceptable.

"You should have thought about that before you got involved in criminal conduct," he said. "Acting the way you have, a married man with young children, is totally unconscionable.

"A lot of people are going to suffer because of your actions, and your family is going to suffer more than you."

Jabar sentenced Basford to four years in jail, all but nine months suspended, and stayed his incarceration until Jan. 30, two days after Basford has a scheduled surgery.

He will be a registered sex offender for life, and his probation requires no contact with the victim or any children, except his own, under the age of 18, no possession of alcohol, and he must obtain sex offender counseling.

He also was sentenced to six months in jail, concurrent, for furnishing alcohol to a minor.

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