Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Leslie "Tom" Agnew - Repeat Sex Offender - "I want to say I'm sorry. That's it"

"This is an egregious offense," he said. "There are just a few, if any, that are worse than what's happened here."

Calling the crime egregious and violent, a judge Wednesday sentenced a 45-year-old Lincoln man to nearly the maximum for repeating the crime that put him on the Sex Offender Registry more than a decade earlier.
Leslie "Tom" Agnew spoke only briefly at the afternoon hearing in a full courtroom.

"I want to say I'm sorry. That's it," Agnew told District Judge Robert Otte, before he got 35 to 38 years for attempted first-degree sexual assault and generation of child pornography.

Agnew turned himself in to Lincoln police in August after allegations surfaced he inappropriately had touched two girls. Prosecutors added charges a month later after police discovered photos on his computer.

He later pleaded no contest to two felonies.

In court Wednesday, Agnew's attorney, Tim Eppler of the Public Defender's office, asked for a minimum prison term or possibly intensive probation.

"He understands his actions caused a tremendous amount of hurt," he said.

Agnew took full responsibility for his actions, Eppler said.

But he urged the court not to re-punish him for a conviction in 1997 in Omaha, for which he got six to eight years, after victims in that case came forward with letters to the judge in this case.

Eppler also pointed to an assessment calling Agnew a low-risk to commit another sex crime.
Deputy County Attorney Matt Acton took issue with the assessment. He said that almost immediately after Agnew got out of prison in the earlier case he put himself in a position to end up in the same spot.

"It's ridiculous to think that Mr. Agnew is a low risk to reoffend," he said.
Acton asked the judge for the maximum, 40 years, given that he had committed the same crime before, this time after learning he had a problem. Acton said the effects of his crimes were "drastic, horrible and everlasting."

Then the victims' mother read a letter asking for help, not the maximum sentence, for Agnew.

She said a maximum sentence wouldn't help her, her daughters or Agnew. He has an issue, she said, and desperately needs help.

In the end, Otte gave Agnew 35 to 38 years.
"This is an egregious offense," he said. "There are just a few, if any, that are worse than what's happened here."
Agnew also faces supervision and listing on the Sex Offender Registry for life, as well as a possible civil commitment once he's released.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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