Beloit man sentenced to six years after web sting

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staff, Gazette
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

— A Rock County judge sentenced a Beloit man to six years in prison Tuesday for arranging to meet who he thought would be an 11-year-old girl for sex in 2012.

The sentence came despite an attorney and psychologist for Jonathon F. Lincoln, 33, arguing he has mental and social issues that would best be treated outside of prison.

The prison term also was lengthier than the prosecutor recommended.

Lincoln, 33, believed he was talking to a pre-teen girl through an online dating site and text messages when he arranged to meet her at a Taco Bell in Beloit, according to a criminal complaint.

Rock County deputies arrested Lincoln when he showed up at the restaurant with condoms, marijuana and a pipe in February 2012.

Lincoln pleaded guilty in March to one count of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. Two charges related to the marijuana and pipe were dismissed.

The charge Lincoln pleaded guilty to carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison, unless a "lesser sentence is in the best interests of the community and the public will not be harmed," according to state statutes.

Whether Lincoln's case met the statute's criteria was the focus of Tuesday's hearing.

Lincoln's attorney, Robert Junig, lobbied for a more lenient sentence that would give Lincoln treatment but keep him out of prison.

Patricia Coffey, a Madison psychologist who evaluated Lincoln for the defense, testified by phone that Lincoln was in the fourth percentile of intelligence. Coffey wrote in her evaluation that Lincoln had not developed beyond a teenage level of maturity.

Lincoln falls into a group that is not likely to re-offend, Junig said, and could be better treated in the community rather than in prison, where he could be vulnerable.

"Putting him in prison is, simply, taking a step back," Junig said.

Assistant District Attorney Perry Folts argued against Coffey's recommendation, saying Lincoln should spend five years in prison and have 15 years of extended supervision.

Judge Kenneth Forbeck went further than that, sentencing Lincoln to six years in prison and 10 years of extended release.

Lincoln posed a risk to society in part because he went beyond an impulse and showed up at the restaurant planning to have sex with a pre-teen girl, Forbeck said.

"You followed through on that," Forbeck told Lincoln. "You showed up with a plan and with a purpose.

"How can I take that risk that you're not going to do that again?"

Lincoln declined to make a statement.

As Forbeck handed down the sentence, Lincoln sat with his hands in his lap and a blue Indianapolis Colts hat on his knee, looking straight ahead as he had for much of the hearing.

Last updated: 10:31 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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