Convicted child sex offender gets 25-year prison term

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Darryl Enriquez
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
— Nicholas Stone was called a drifter who has accomplished little in life other than becoming a dangerous person.

"Do I need to protect the public?" Walworth County Judge John Race asked Tuesday at Stone's sentencing hearing. "Obviously, I must. If there ever was a case for prison in this courtroom, this is it."

Stone, 39, was sentenced to 25 years in prison with no chance of early release, followed by 10 years of extended supervision. Stone will be 63 years old when he's released from confinement and 73 when he finishes supervision.

Stone will get about a year of credit against his prison sentence for time spent in the Walworth County Jail while his case progressed.

A Walworth County jury found Stone guilty Oct. 13 of sexually assaulting a girl many times when she was 3 to 6 years old while he babysat her at a Delavan Township home. The incidents happened from 2006 to 2009, according to a criminal complaint.

The girl's mother told Race at sentencing that Stone had taken innocence from her daughter. She asked Race to give Stone the maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, followed by 20 years of extended supervision.

"She's gone from being outgoing to not being my same (girl) anymore," the mother said.

The first-grader is now wary of men, the mother said.

Race, who presided over the trial, said he never heard remorse or repentance from Stone, who in a high-pitched, wavering voice maintained his innocence.

"I did not commit this crime," Stone told Race.

Race said he agreed with the jury's verdict.

District Attorney Phil Koss called Stone "an incredibly dangerous person."

"This is a man who gets sexually excited by kids," Koss said.

After graphically describing Stone's crimes against the girl, Koss asked:

"Who does that?"

Koss asked that Stone get 35 years in prison, followed by 20 years of extended supervision.

"The public needs to have him confined for a long time," Koss said.

Race and Koss expressed their concerns about Stone's criminal history, which includes larceny, arson and a three-year stint in Illinois prison for theft.

The girl's age made Stone's crime more egregious, Race said.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Murrell acknowledged at the hearing that his client had a criminal background but not a previous sex crime.

He called the local allegation an "anomaly" compared to Stone's other offenses.

Murrell advised Stone to remain silent at trial and with the interviewer for a presentence report. The interviewer also makes a sentencing recommendation.

Because of Stone's silence, the report lacked information about his personality, but it elaborated on additional crimes of which local authorities were unaware.

Stone was advised by Murrell to not make a statement to Race, which Stone disregarded.

Murrell indicated he was considering asking for a new trial based on inconsistencies in testimony.

Stone's mother could not make it from Aurora, Ill., to the sentencing, but she sent her support, Murrell said.

Jurors did find Stone not guilty of an allegation that he had assaulted a second child—a 3-year-old boy in 2005 at the same Delavan Township home.

Proving the case against Stone involved convincing jurors that the children had not conspired to get their sitter in trouble by making up the story. Ultimately, jurors believed the girl's testimony but not the charge involving the boy, who had trouble recalling details.

Last updated: 3:49 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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