Spirit Lake man put on probation

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SANDPOINT — A Spirit Lake man imprisoned for molesting a minor in Bonner County over a four-year period is being released onto probation.

Roy Lewis Baldwin was given a five- to 25-year term when he was sentenced in February, but 1st District Judge John T. Mitchell retained jurisdiction over the defendant.

When jurisdiction is retained, also known as a rider, a defendant can serve up to a year in prison before a decision is made to put the person on probation or order them to serve the full sentence.

Baldwin’s case came back before jurisdictional review on Monday by Mitchell, who ordered Baldwin to be released on probation, court records show. However, Mitchell ordered Baldwin to remain in custody of the Bonner County Jail until  full-disclosure polygraph and psychosexual evaluations can be conducted.

Baldwin, 67, was charged with sexually abusing a Bonner County girl from 2008 to 2012, when she was between the ages of 6 and 10. Baldwin’s misconduct allegedly rose to the level of lewd and lascivious, but that allegation was withdrawn in exchange for a plea of guilt, according to court documents.

Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall recommended a two- to 10-year prison term with retained jurisdiction, partly due to Baldwin’s cooperation with authorities. Baldwin’s defense counsel, Bruce Greene, argued for a suspended prison term and local incarceration so his client could take part in outpatient sexual offender treatment.

Mitchell adopted the rider recommendation, but imposed a longer underlying prison term due to the severe and repetitive nature of Baldwin’s offenses. However, the court noted that there were still discrepancies between the victim’s version of events and those of the defendant, which prompted the polygraph examination order, court records indicate.

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