Appeals court affirms rulings in rape case

SANDPOINT — The Idaho Court of Appeals is affirming the conviction and sentence imposed against a Bonner County man for statutory rape.

The appeals court is also affirming a lower court’s decision to relinquish jurisdiction over Scott Anthony Hansen or reduce his sentence, according to an opinion published on Monday.

Hansen was originally charged in 2011 with engaging in lewd conduct with a 13-year-old girl and the statutory rape of another 13-year-old girl. Hansen was 18 at the time he was charged.

In an agreement with the state, Hansen pleaded guilty to statutory rape and the lewd conduct charge was dismissed, court records show. The terms of the pretrial settlement agreement required him to admit wrongdoing for the dismissed offense, however.

Hansen was given a two- to eight-year prison sentence and jurisdiction was retained. When a court retains jurisdiction over a defendant, also known as a rider, a defendant becomes eligible for parole after serving up to a year in prison.

If a judge relinquishes jurisdiction, a defendant can be made to serve their underlying prison term.

Hansen appealed his conviction, claiming that the sentencing judge tread on his due process rights by denying him allocution. Allocution is a procedural right that allows a defendant to make a statement or present information in mitigation of punishment.

Hansen had remarks for the court, although his defense counsel wished to provide information and call several witnesses.

“Before imposing the sentence, the district court did not ask whether Hansen wished to make a statement,” Chief Judge Sergio Gutierrez noted in the opinion.

Hansen argued the oversight amounted to a fundamental error worthy of triggering a re-sentencing hearing.

Gutierrez said the appeals court could not conclude from the record that the lower court’s failure to later invite a statement was an affirmative denial of the opportunity to allocute and not simply an oversight, Gutierrez wrote.

“However, a violation by the district court of a rule of procedure does not necessarily equate to a deprivation of a constitutional right,” Gutierrez said in the nine-page opinion.

Hansen further argued that the district court abused its discretion by imposing an excessive sentence and relinquishing jurisdiction, but the appellate court disagreed.

Gutierrez held that Hansen ran into numerous disciplinary issues at the North Idaho Correctional Institution, making him a poor candidate for probation. Gutierrez also found that the lower court did not abuse its discretion by declining Hansen’s post-conviction plea for leniency due to his high risk for recidivism.

Judges Karen Lansing and John Melanson concurred.

Read More News

School funding survey deadline Sunday

October 22, 2016 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee The Idaho State Board of Education and the Idaho Legislature’s Public School Funding Formula Interim Committee have partnered to collect public input from Idahoans on how the state’s public...

Read More

WBLD programs today on proposed expansion

October 22, 2016 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee The West Bonner Library District is moving forward with plans to improve, upgrade and expand the library facilities in Priest River and Blanchard. The WBLD Board of Trustees passed a...

Read More

Gleason Fire wrapped up

October 22, 2016 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee PRIEST RIVER — The Gleason Fire is wrapped up, according to the U.S. Forest Service.The fire on the south side of Gleason Mountain west of Priest Lake burned for 12 1/2 weeks and...

Read More

Hahn reflects on lengthy postal career

October 22, 2016 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — Jerry Hahn is retiring from the U.S. Postal Service after more than three decades on the job.“He’s the one that keeps the show going,” said Linda Oldridge, a former post...

Read More