Man sentenced in child sex abuse case

Posted: Sunday, July 07, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A North Pole man convicted of attempting to sexually abuse his young daughter has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

''In our culture, we put great trust in parents to care for their children,'' Superior Court Judge Niesje Steinkruger said Friday in sentencing 48-year-old Steve Decker. ''He not only broke that trust, he hurt her emotionally and physically in breaking it.''

Decker faced much more serious charges before reaching a plea agreement in the case. He was indicted in November on two counts of first-degree and three counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, based on allegations he molested the girl multiple times between June 1999 and September 2001. The girl was 8 years old when the allegations surfaced last September.

In May, he pleaded no contest to a single count of second-degree attempted sexual abuse of a minor. The plea deal capped Decker's possible jail term at 2 1/2 years, the sentence the judge chose to impose.

The judge sentenced Decker to five years, with half of that suspended, as well as five years on probation.

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