Guilty plea in sex abuse case

SANDPOINT — A Spirit Lake man pleaded guilty last week to a reduced charge in a molestation case.

Roy Lewis Baldwin is scheduled to be sentenced in 1st District Court on Feb. 4, 2013. He faces up to 25 years in prison, although a plea agreement in the case is recommending substantially lesser sentence.

Baldwin was originally charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor for having sexual contact with a girl in Bonner County from 2008 to 2010, when she was between the ages of 6 and 8.

Baldwin, 66, faced the prospect of a lifelong prison sentence, but he pleaded guilty to an amended charge of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16.

In exchange for the plea of guilt, the state is recommending retained jurisdiction, also known as a rider. When jurisdiction is retained, a defendant serves up to a year in prison before a decision is made to place the person on probation or impose further incarceration.

The plea agreement, however, is not binding upon the court.

Baldwin is free on his own recognizance while the case is pending.

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