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Fairbanks teen pleads guilty in sexual assault

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Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010 3:55 am | Updated: 1:06 pm, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

FAIRBANKS — A Fairbanks teenager pleaded guilty Thursday to molesting a 6-year-old girl.

As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Jabez Woody, 17, will be sentenced to 15 years in prison with 10 years suspended. He will be on probation for 15 years when he is released from state custody, and he will have to register as a sex offender for 15 years.

Woody, who turned 17 in September, turned himself in to Alaska State Troopers last summer when he admitted to performing a sex act with the girl.

In another interview, he told troopers that the 6-year-old wanted to have sex with him and it was “all her idea,” according to charging documents.

Attorneys have struggled with where Woody should be incarcerated. His age and the offense he pleaded to make him eligible to be placed in a juvenile facility, but another term of his plea agreement is that he must be in the custody of the adult correctional system.

Woody’s attorney, Bill Spiers, said it is likely that Woody will serve his sentence at a youthful offender program in Seward.

“It’s one of the main reasons he accepted the agreement,” Spiers said.

Teens 16 and older can be charged as adults with sexual assault of a minor if the victim is under 13.

Superior Court Judge Douglas Blankenship said there should be an emphasis on rehabilitating Woody while he is in prison because of his young age. He is undergoing sex offender counseling.

A sentencing hearing has been set for July 15.

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