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Published October 02, 2012, 03:42 PM

Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Sexual Abuse of Child

Adam Scott Hamilton was sentenced today in state district court in Grand Forks to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing a boy from the time he was 6 until he was 12.

By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

Adam Scott Hamilton was sentenced today in state district court in Grand Forks to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing a boy from the time he was 6 until he was 12.

In pronouncing sentence, Judge Joel Medd said while Hamilton, 34, is a decorated military veteran who served his country in war and has no other criminal history, the sexual assaults he admitted to called for the long sentence.

Hamilton, a 12-year veteran of the Air Force including several years at the Grand Forks Air Force Base and deployment to the Middle East in 2002 in the Global War on Terror, immediately was taken into custody to serve his sentence at the state prison in Bismarck. He also will be on probation for life after his prison term, including being registered as a sex offender, Medd said.

The victim spoke haltingly Monday during the three-hour sentencing hearing to a courtroom packed with his family and friends — as well as a handful of family and friends of Hamilton — of his anger and fear over what Hamilton had done to him and might do again. The boy asked Medd to sentence Hamilton to 35 years in prison.

The boy told a family member in December of the abuse, and the next day Hamilton admitted several kinds of sexual acts with the boy over about three months late last year in Grand Forks County. He said it began in Cass County in 2005 when the boy was 6, according to the investigators’ affidavits.

Medd turned down a request from Hamilton’s attorney, Blake Hankey, to give Hamilton one night free in Grand Forks to visit with his parents, brother and other relatives from Illinois who came to speak for him at the sentencing hearing. Medd acceded to the suggestion of prosecutor Jason McCarthy that officials at the county jail allow him visitation time tonight.

McCarthy had asked Medd to impose the 30 years and had offered that in a plea deal rejected by the defense earlier this year.

Request for life

The boy’s mother said Hamilton had betrayed a trust and she asked Medd for the maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Hankey had asked for a 10-year sentence with seven years suspended, saying that would give Hamilton enough time to complete the state’s sex offender program and then allow him to pay restitution and other costs the victim might have for counseling and medical care.

Hankey said Hamilton had an exemplary life, with many military awards and medals, and had worked as a civilian contractor for two years after retiring from the Air Force in 2009 because of a bad back.

Hamilton gets credit for 90 days served in the Grand Forks County jail last December and early this year. He’s been free on $10,000 bail since last spring and living with his extended family in his hometown of Savanah, Ill.

Hamilton’s mother, father and brother all spoke highly of Hamilton and said they don’t believe he did what he, on May 24, pleaded guilty to doing.

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