A man charged with raping his 12-year-old neighbor pleaded guilty Monday in Superior Court at Kenai Courthouse.
Gerald C. Thornton Jr., 57, of Kenai, was charged with four counts of sexual abuse of minor in the first degree, unclassified felonies, and four counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, class B felonies.
He pleaded guilty to the first count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. The remaining counts will be dismissed at sentencing.
Thornton only spoke at the change of plea hearing to acknowledge his understanding of the plea deal and proceedings and to answer “guilty” when Superior Court Judge Carl Bauman asked, “How do you plead?”
According to an affidavit filed by Kenai Police, on April 26, an investigator interviewed the 12-year-old girl, who told the officer Thornton had sexually abused her in his bedroom at his house multiple times and that these incidents “only happen(ed) on the weekends.” Examination confirmed her statements.
The next day Thornton was taken to the police department for an interview, the report reads. Officers had informed him he could leave at any time during the interview and would not be arrested at its conclusion. Thornton admitted to raping and sexually abusing the victim several times at his home between December 2012 and April 2013. Thornton left the station after his admission and returned later the same day to turn himself in. He said he wanted to turn himself in because, “it was the best thing he could do,” according to the affidavit.
Sentencing calls for jail time of 40 years with 15 years suspended followed by 15 years of probation. Lifetime registration as a sex offender will be required. Thornton will be subject to both general and special conditions that will be determined. He will be ordered to get sex offender treatment, pay restitution and will be order not to have contact with the victim.
Thornton will appear in court for sentencing Dec. 9.
He is incarcerated at Wildwood Correctional Center.
Kaylee Osowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.