Monday, October 03, 2022

Man sentenced in sex offense cases

Staff Writer | January 29, 2022 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — A Sandpoint man was sentenced on charges of rape, lewd conduct, and two counts of injury to a child on Friday.

Mantra Keenan Robinson, 19 will spend the first year of his three- to 10 year sentence in the court’s retained jurisdiction program for events taking place in the summers of 2019-2021.

Also known as a “rider,” the court’s retained jurisdiction program is an alternative form of sentencing. Instead of serving their sentence to term, the accused is made to participate in treatment and intensive education programs during the first year of their sentence. After the first year, the accused can request to go on probation; however, the judge can still choose to sentence them to term. The program is offered as a substitute for traditional sentencing in hope of rehabilitating an offender.

Robinson was sentenced for four separate sex offense cases in front of First District Judge Barbara Buchanan on Friday.

Original charges against Robinson were four counts of rape, six counts of lewd conduct, and a count of child sexual abuse. Many charges were changed or dismissed through the court process. Robinson took two separate plea agreements on Sept. 24, and Jan. 6; pleading guilty to a count of rape, a count of lewd conduct, and two counts of injury to a child.

“The court was so outraged that we released you with conditions, and then we had another violation,” Buchanan said.

Robinson was facing charges in three court cases when he posted $50,000 bail on Dec. 8, 2020. He was arrested on Aug. 6 on four counts of lewd conduct with an additional victim.

“Frankly, if I sent a 19-year-old, immature young man who’s not physically very large and imposing to prison, Mr. Robinson is going to be a victim. Some people might think that that’s appropriate punishment, but that certainly is not what the court thinks about when you talk about punishment,” Buchanan said.

“I know you’re very young, I know you’re very immature, you have a substantial addiction issue. All these cases involved controlled substances and alcohol,” Buchanan said. “I’m going to give you an opportunity on a rider, because that will give you the opportunity for you to have treatment right away.”

“Mr. Robinson, I’m not guaranteeing that you will get probation,” Buchanan said, “If you show the same immaturity that you showed when you were out, that you haven’t grown, that you haven’t learned from this, you’ll fail the rider. … You’re going to have to prove that you have matured, that you can follow every rule, and if you can do those things I will consider whether or not to put you on probation.”

Buchanan then handed down a sentence of three- to 10- years in all cases, all to be served concurrently.

Robinson was given 679 days credit for time already served, and will be made to pay $3,680 in court costs. He will also have to register as a sex offender upon release.

Prosecutor Nick Lepire detailed Robinson’s routine in assaulting victims, saying that assaults happened in the summertime, specifically July and August. A majority of assaults took place under the Cedar Street Bridge after heavy alcohol and substance consumption, according to court documents.

Everyone besides Robinson went on the record describing Robinson as immature.

“I want to emphasize that everything I did was consensual,” Robinson said. “I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. … I should have made sure these girls were over age. I’m really sorry, and regret any hardship I caused for these young women and their parents, as well as the community. … I know now that it was wrong for me to have sexual relations with those girls as an 18- and 19-year-old adult. … I’m truly sorry and take full responsibility for my actions.”

None of the victims chose to give an impact statement during sentencing.

Despite Robinson’s claims that all encounters were consensual, no one under the age of 16 can consent to sexual activity in the state of Idaho. In addition, more than one of Robinson’s victims were found heavily intoxicated to the point of being unable to walk, which is another factor that prevents an individual from consenting.

There is no statute of limitations for sexual offenses against minors. LillyBrooke Family Justice Center can be reached by calling 208-265-3586. LillyBrooke can connect victims with licensed professionals that can assist victims in healing from trauma. Many victims of sexual assault cases say they feel better after telling their story.

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