August 08, 2009
Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth imposed the sentence after a two-week trial, applying the presumptive sentence under the recently revised statute for sex offenses. Sikeo previously was convicted of two other charges of sexual abuse of a minor. Under the revised law, effective on April 28, 2006, the judge is required to sentence a third-time convicted sex offender to 99 years.
Sikeo's defense attorney argued that the statute is unconstitutional and sought referral to a three-judge panel on the grounds that such a sentence is "manifestly unjust." Judge Aarseth denied the motion, ruling that the Legislature has the discretion to determine sentencing schemes for crimes. He also found that the sentence was not manifestly unjust, given the specific offense, and stated that even with discretion under the statute he would have imposed the 99-year sentence.
Attorney General Dan Sullivan noted that this is the second recent case in which a 99-year sentence has been imposed for sexual abuse. Two weeks ago, John Leopold of Alakanuk received that sentence in Bethel Superior Court for his third sex-related offense.
"We want Alaskans to know that we're using every tool available to take these dangerous perpetrators off the street," Sullivan said. "The message is that serial offenders can expect to be locked up for good."
The latest case was prosecuted by Paul Miovas and Taylor Winston of the Special Assaults Unit of the Anchorage District Attorney's Office.
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