In court

A 36-year-old man convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at his home in 2018 was sentenced Monday to serve 12 years in prison.

In 2020, Con Lysle Compton, of North Pole, was convicted of one count first-degree sexual assault, three counts of second-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor as an authority figure and three-counts of fourth-degree sexual abuse of a minor as an authority figure.

Compton invited an underage girl to his house to babysit his children in 2018. He had previously communicated with the girl frequently through a social media dating app. While the girl was at his house, Compton showed her sexually explicit photos and videos early in the morning while his wife and children were sleeping. He then tried to force his hands into her pants and underwear and forced her to touch him sexually, according to charging documents and court testimony. She told troopers she resisted and told him repeatedly to stop.

Bell said Compton initially denied having sexual contact with the girl when he was questioned by law enforcement. He later said he had accidentally shown her the sexual images and that he had sexual contact, because she was “coming on to him,” Bell stated in the complaint. A jury returned guilty verdicts on all eight counts against Compton during a 2020 jury trial.

During Monday’s sentencing hearing, both parties agreed to merge Compton’s original eight offenses into three.

“We have three separate body parts touched or penetrated three different times. As our Appellate Courts have held, those are the three distinct acts and they do not merge but they are to be sentenced as three separate crimes,” explained Superior Court Judge Thomas Temple. “However, counts four, five, eight, six and seven are other theories of the same contact or penetration and therefore they will merge.”

First-degree sexual assault carries a presumptive sentencing range of 10 to 30 years in prison. The state requested that Compton be sentenced to 30 years.

“The state is asking for 30 years in this case which is shocking considering the elements of this crime, the testimony we heard at trial and the fact that the same state’s office makes agreements and arrangements for people where the victim is dead. 30, 40, 50 years are the offers we see on a dead body case not an over the pants digital touching,” said defense attorney Amy Bennett.

After a brief recess, Judge Temple sentenced Compton to 22 years, with 10 suspended. Compton will be also be required to register as a sex offender for life.

“ ... When we look at what our Appellate Courts have done with cases that are even more egregious, the courts have found those were least serious incidents,” said Judge Temple. “Mr. Compton has proved by clear and convincing evidence that the count of sexual assault in the first-degree is among the least serious conduct within the definition of sexual assault in the first-degree.”

Compton has no prior record of sex crimes or felony charges in Alaska, according to an online records search. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct in a 2008 case, and a jury convicted him on one count of misdemeanor assault in a 2016 case.

Contact Liv Clifford at 459-7582, lclifford@newsminer.com or follow her at twitter.com/FDNMcrime.

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