FAIRBANKS — A Fairbanks man with a lengthy criminal history was given a five-year sentence Friday morning for subjecting his girlfriend to an hours-long beating last fall.
Mark Leroux, 43, was jailed in October 2012 on charges that included felony assault and kidnapping after his girlfriend of about three weeks escaped from a South Fairbanks home where Leroux had been beating and choking her. She didn’t have shoes or a jacket when she ran away and got the help of a bystander at the 23rd Avenue Holiday gas station.
Leroux pleaded guilty to second-degree felony assault this summer. The kidnapping charge was dismissed and the five-year jail term was established as part of a plea agreement.
Superior Court Judge Paul Lyle sentenced Leroux on Friday in front of an empty courtroom gallery. At the request of Leroux’s public defender Lyle recommended that the Department of Corrections transfer Leroux to the North Star Center, the halfway house on the Parks Highway. He’s now incarcerated at Fairbanks Correctional Center.
Lyle also gave Leroux a seven-year probation term, between the five years requested by Leroux’s lawyer and the 10 years requested by prosecutors. If he violates probation, he could face an additional five-year sentence.
Leroux’s criminal history includes 18 convictions from 1988 to 2013, nine of them for assault, something Lyle said he considered in determining the number of years of probation.
“What’s more important than the number of convictions is what the convictions are for. They’re assault convictions. They’re assault convictions against domestic partners and they’re the same types of assaultive behaviors: kicking, biting scratching,” Lyle said. “The criminal history here is not good.”
Nonetheless, Lyle said a written statement by Leroux showed he was serious about taking responsibility for his actions.
“I have read his statement, and he does show some insight into his situation,” Lyle said. “He is one of the more articulate people I have had before me in the courthouse in circumstances like this.”
Leroux was smoking synthetic marijuana known as “spice” on the night of the assault. As one of his probation conditions, Lyle ordered Leroux not to consume any product marked “not for human consumption,” a warning label often printed on spice packages.
Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.