Assailant’s Needs Are Considered


A 25-year-old Northern Arapaho man deemed by a lower court to be “literally frozen in place with an alcohol addiction” failed to persuade the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to lower his sentence for sexual abuse on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.

Garnett Rapheal Addison acknowledged at his plea hearing that he had “engaged in a sexual act with a minor who was drunk and passed out at the time” and he was sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment, 15 years of supervised release, and a $500 fine. The maximum sentence for the offense was life imprisonment.

The prison term he received was “sufficient but not greater than necessary considering the extent of the needs of Addison,” the lower court said, pointing out his alcoholism and his being “trapped with a lack of any marketable skills.”

His sentence was adequate to punish the victimization of the minor, but took into consideration Addison’s addiction, lack of employment history, educational deficits and need for vocational training, the lower court said.

“Although the court stated that prison was not the best place to solve Mr. Addison’s alcohol addiction and his lack of vocational training, it noted that some programs, including treatment programs, would be available to Mr. Addison,” a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court said.

The appeals court granted his attorney’s motion to withdraw.