SANDPOINT — A 1st District judge did not abuse his authority when he rejected a convicted sex offender’s plea for leniency.
Dayle Scott Westra argued the 2- to 20-year sentence he received after pleading guilty to engaging in lewd conduct with a minor was too excessive. Judge Charles Hosack imposed the sentence last year.
Westra, 38, moved under state court criminal Rule 35 to have his sentence reconsidered. Rule 35 motions, which are essentially pleas for leniency, are at the sole discretion of the court.
Westra argued the 20-year tail on his sentence should be halved to 10 years because he lacked a prior criminal record and was at low risk of re-offending.
Judge Steve Verby, however, declined to disturb Hosack’s sentence. Verby ruled that the sentence was apt because Westra’s pattern of sexual abuse was repeated, escalated over the years and was laced with death threats.
Westra appealed Verby’s ruling on the motion, but appellate judges David Gratton, Sergio Guitierrez and John Melanson affirmed Verby’s determination.
“Upon review of the record, including the new information submitted with Westra’s Rule 35 motion, we conclude no abuse of discretion has been shown,” the judges said in an unpublished opinion released on Wednesday.
Westra is serving his sentence at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution in Kuna, according to the Idaho Department of Correction.
Westra’s parole eligibility date is set for June of next year. His last parole activity was in April of last year.
Westra, formerly of Priest River, was charged in 2009 with molesting an 11-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty while awaiting trial in district court.