Accused child molester, Kenneth Alan Byrnes was sentened today to 12 years of supervised probation and a minimum of 2 years in a counseling program as a sex offender, but he will not serve any more time in prison than the 570 days that he has already served. Judge Tom Anderson delayed sentencing for one week to allow defense attorney Keri Kline time to find an appropriate treatment program for Byrnes who pleaded no contest to sexual abuse to the victim from the time she was 5 until she was 12 years old. The girl finally told a counselor about the abuse when she was 15. The victim told the judge she did not want to see Byrnes go to prison and while Judge Tom Anderson said the “easier picture” would be to see Byrnes go to prison and removed from society, he had to consider the interests of the victim. Defense attorney Keri Klein said the judge followed the law and did the right thing, and what he did was very brave.
“There were three different evaluations done, in fact there were four evaluations done and all of the evaluations indicated that Mr. Byrnes should be given a grant of probation, that it was in the best interest of the victim”
Deputy District Attorney Katy Francis said the prosecution would have liked to see Byrnes sent to prison for the full 16 years allowed under sentencing.
“It is my feeling that the criminal justice system needs to rise above, consider what the victims wants, and yet at some point understand that there are some crimes that are just too serious to make a child decide.”
The 63 year old Byrnes must register as a sex offender, attend a minimum of 2 years rehabilitation counseling, and 12 years of supervised probation. Judge Anderson said Byrnes will be monitored for a much longer time under probation than if he had gone to prison.