Court upholds rape sentence - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Court upholds rape sentence

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Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012 10:00 am

SANDPOINT — The Idaho Court of Appeals is upholding a life sentence imposed against a Bonner County man who drugged and raped a vulnerable 16-year-old girl.

Defense counsel for Dean Duane Stevens Jr. argued 1st District Judge Steve Verby abused his discretion by imposing excessive sentences, but the appeals court did not find them unreasonable, according to an unpublished opinion released on Nov. 8.

“Therefore, Stevens’ judgment of conviction and sentences are affirmed,” Chief Judge David Gratton and judges Sergio Gutierrez and John Melanson said in the opinion.

Stevens, 41, was charged with supplying the teen with methamphetamine before raping her in a remote cabin north of Ponderay in 2009. Stevens took the girl to the cabin after she agreed to pose for nude photographs in exchange for money.

Stevens entered Alford pleas to the charges, meaning he admitted no wrongdoing but conceded he could be convicted and wanted to partake in plea negotiations. Alford pleas are regarded no differently than guilty pleas at sentencing.

At his sentencing hearing last year, Stevens denied raping the teen.

“I did not rape her. There was nothing forcible about anything,” Stevens said.

Verby imposed a fixed life term on the rape charge and a consecutive 25-year sentence for delivery of a controlled substance.

Stevens later filed a post-sentencing plea for leniency, but it was not timely filed. Had Stevens met the filing deadline, Verby said he would not have relaxed the sentence.

“Tying up an underage, mentally challenged victim and then raping her is the type of crime that requires a defendant to spend the rest of his life behind bars,” Verby said in a written ruling.

Stevens is serving his sentence at the Idaho Correctional Center in Kuna, according to the Idaho Department of Correction.

Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall said he was pleased by the higher court’s affirmation of Verby’s sentence.

“There was a great deal of work that went into this investigation and prosecution,” said Marshall. “I am sorry the victim endured this horrific assault, but I am proud of her for coming forward so no other girl has to meet the same fate by the hand of Stevens.”

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  • Terry Thomas posted at 9:52 am on Tue, Nov 27, 2012.

    Terry Thomas Posts: 141

    He didn't deserve a life sentence. What he deserves is a length of rope and a short fall straight down to hell.

  • reddawn posted at 4:13 pm on Mon, Nov 26, 2012.

    reddawn Posts: 1847

    I am pleased that he got the time. This child will need years of help, It will never be forgotten! We the people need to suppport her in help, that is by making sure if her parents do not have the money to get this help our State, the people will find compassion in our lifes to make sure she doesnt fall threw the system where by she does not get the help she will greatly need.

  • Luv83864 posted at 12:12 pm on Sun, Nov 25, 2012.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    Mr. Litsinger- you are correct, I also thought he had been awaiting a trial or something when this happened? I recall an earlier article reporting something to that effect, this is one example of something that could possibly have been prevented, also at least for a long time he will be unable to harm anyone else.

    Asking for leniency seems pretty absurd being this young girls life will be affected everyday for her whole life. She hasn't even lived a 1/4 of her life and has already been through a battle. Hopefully she will be able to grasp the bull but he horns. I'm sure in most ways she will become a much stronger person then those who haven't been through something like this.

  • Bill Litsinger posted at 11:01 am on Sun, Nov 25, 2012.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    Kudos to Judge Verby for imposing this fair sentence. This criminal (Dean Stevens) should have been locked up for life decades ago. He has convictions for Grand Theft, Lewd Conduct w/Child, Drug Possession, Burglary, Probation Violation and now for raping a juvenile.

    There was a time not so long ago that this latest offense would not have happened because this criminal would have already been serving a life W/O parole sentence. Maybe some of the blame for this latest crime is the fault of all of us in society for not demanding more be done to keep animals like Dean Stevens off the streets.

  • Luv83864 posted at 9:53 am on Sun, Nov 25, 2012.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    I can not believe this stuff happens...I know naive some of you would like to say. I guess I'd like to believe we had a better then community but we don't. Sad and disgusting but courageous of the victim to come forward. "Mentally challenged?" I don't remember hearing that before but under the influence of drugs by the hands of 41 year old man and asked to take phonographic pictures is a lewd act alone, add the rape and its horrific. I don't imagine a situation like this where sexual intercourse didn't happen, so that would constitute of statutory rape by force I would think. I am glad this is being handled seriously. Please send a message this will not be tolerated.