Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sex offender sentenced for not registering

Crime committed 24 years ago in California

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County resident Randal Scott Atkins was sentenced to 21 nights in jail on Monday, April 11, after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of failing to register as a sex offender for a crime committed 24 years ago in California, when he was 19.

Atkins was also fined $5,000, of which $3,000 was suspended. The sentence includes three years of probation.

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Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback said during the sentencing hearing that Atkins was arrested for the felony after he informed police about an illegal drug shipment coming to Blaine County. Fredback said investigators doing a background check on Atkins at the time of the drug investigation uncovered his registration misstep, something his attorney, Doug Nelson, said he had long since forgotten.

Judge Robert J. Elgee said at Monday's sentencing that he was satisfied that a psychosexual evaluation, which Atkins paid for, showed "no significant risk to re-offend," and that Atkins had had no run-ins with law enforcement in nearly 25 years.

Atkins' case includes letters of support as a positive member of the community, including words from his home where he lives with his girlfriend and her daughter. Elgee recommended that Atkins attend counseling with his girlfriend, but did not require it.

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