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29-year-old sentenced to prison for sexual misconduct with minor

Published 9:48pm Monday, July 19, 2010

By JESSICA SIEFF

Niles Daily Star

Handing down a sentence of no less than six and no more than 15 years in prison for two counts of criminal sexual misconduct in the second degree and one count in the first degree, Judge Scott Schofield told Edward Armstrong, 29, of Eau Claire, Monday, “I am not sending you to prison to rehabilitate you.

“I am sending you to prison to punish you,” he said.

Armstrong was arrested in May and was facing three counts of criminal sexual misconduct in which the victim was under 13 years old.

At the sentencing Monday, Berrien County prosecutor Mary Malesky told the judge that Armstrong had held his victim “captive” in a bathroom as he committed the crime and added, “I think as soon as the offenses were committed, he (the victim) was allowed to leave.”

Whether or not the victim was held captive after the fact would have had an impact on the scoring for the crime.

The impact of Armstrong’s crime was clear as the victim’s mother was present in the courtroom and made statements to the effect of the emotional trauma the victim had suffered since the incident.

“This has been an extremely difficult case to deal with,” Malesky said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a young child so affected in such an adverse way.”

Malesky told the court Armstrong’s victim had attempted suicide and asked that the highest sentence of 71 months to 15 years be delivered.

Armstrong’s attorney asked for a minimum sentence of 36 months and said his client, “despite these acts,” was “a good person.”

“This was a mistake,” Armstrong said, addressing the court. “It should never have happened. I am sorry.”

“What are you sorry for?” Schofield asked.

“For touching (the victim),” Armstrong said.

“Everyone affected by your selfish and criminal act will take a long, long time to recover from this, including you and (the victim),” Schofield said. “Putting you in prison is not going to heal this young (victim)… But it will separate you from society for a while and it will punish you.

“I’m sending you to prison because society, particularly our young people, have to be protected from you,” he said.

Schofield read portions of a victim’s impact statement by the victim’s mother aloud in court.

“If we’re lucky, Mr. Armstrong, your selfish act will not have a ripple effect on future generations,” Schofield said. “That often happens, though. What you did (to the victim) will affect (their) ability to have relationships in the future.”

Armstrong will receive credit days served in jail, was also ordered to undergo sex offender treatment and upon release from prison, will be sentenced to a lifetime of GPS monitoring.

The Star will not print certain details surrounding the incident in order to protect the identity of the victim.

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