A Grand Forks judge ordered two men to each spend 15 years in prison after they admitted to sexually abusing two young girls in unrelated cases.
Lonnie Lee Falcon Sr., 50, pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of gross sexual imposition, all Class AA felonies, in Grand Forks County District Court. Court records say sometime between 2010 and 2014, he molested the 8-year-old daughter of a woman he was dating whenever the woman was away.
Michael Joseph Pinon, 32, Grand Forks, pleaded guilty to one count of gross sexual imposition, a Class AA felony, after he admitted to the mother of a 6-year-old girl he used to babysit that he had molested her twice, according to court records.
The mother of the 6-year-old spoke in court Monday, saying she did not feel the 15-year sentence was long enough when the abuse will affect her daughter for the rest of her life.
But Blake Hankey, the court-appointed attorney defending Pinon, argued Pinon should be sentenced to less time in prison.
Hankey called an expert witness to testify Monday about the likelihood Pinon would commit a sex offense again.
Dr. R.P. Ascano told the court by phone he had evaluated Pinon and found he was at a moderate risk of committing a sex offense again. But if Pinon followed a treatment regimen, he believed Pinon's risk of committing a sex crime after release would fall, he said.
But Grand Forks District Judge Jon Jensen believed 15 years was appropriate, especially since the judge had just sentenced Falcon, who he said was placed at a lower risk of reoffending, to 15 years in prison.
Jensen pointed to the fact Pinon had been in a position of trust as the girl's babysitter.
After Pinon is released from prison, he will be placed on supervised probation for 10 years, Jensen said, and could be sentenced to more prison time if he violates any conditions of probation or parole.
Pinon also was ordered to pay the victim an undetermined amount in restitution, to cover the costs of counseling and other costs resulting from the abuse.