Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Staff Report
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Victim-survivor shares impact statement at Jeffers' sentencing

 

September 6, 2018



Paul R. Jeffers, 64, Moose Lake, was sentenced to 144 months (12 years) in prison on Friday, August 31 for Criminal Sexual Assault in the First Degree.

In the initial complaint on Dec. 12, 2017, it stated that Jeffers had engaged in sexual penetration with another person more than 13 and under 16 years of age, and that Jeffers had a significant relationship and was a person of authority over the victim.

“The parents reported that the prior day it was reported to them that Jeffers had sexually assaulted their daughter. ... Their daughter made the disclosure to a cousin, and the parents took her (the victim) to the Brainerd Police Department. As it was disclosed, the assault occurred at the Jeffers’ residence outside of Moose Lake. The Brainerd police referred the case to Carlton County.

“A deputy traveled to Brainerd and conducted an interview with the victim, who disclosed that she would go to her grandparents’ home approximately once a month for the weekend.”

Jeffers began inappropriate advances around Christmas 2016, the complaint stated.

Further information stated that the victim visited her grandparents in the early summer of 2017, and that on four or five occasions, Jeffers came to her room and engaged in sexual conduct. He apologized on one occasion and stated he did not know why he was doing it, the victim had stated. She was 14 years old at the time, and Jeffers was 63 years old.

On Aug. 31, Charles Hawkins, the attorney for Jeffers, corrected several facts in the statements given previously. One of them was that the contact between Jeffers and the victim had started in November 2016.

Hawkins also asked for mercy for his client. He asked for 30 years of probation, and that Jeffers take advantage of the sex offender program.

“He will be 94 by the time that he is discharged,” said Hawkins. “He comes before the court at 64 years of age. This was something that never should have happened. This is the first time in his life that it did happen. He never wanted to put this woman through more harm and discomfort. When the police arrived, he went out, met them, invited them in, sat down and gave a full confession. He was open and honest. That’s the way that he was raised. He had the support of certain parts of his family.

“He’s been under intensive supervision over eight months prior to his release. He obeyed every condition and all of the rules. He’s not a risk to the public. He had never done this before but it has been life changing.

“In light of the victim’s impact statement, which was educational and instructional, we need to take a step back and allow the healing to continue that she was engaged in with other parts of the family.

“Jeffers has shown that he is not the risk that they perceive him to be. And probation would show that we are the society of second chances. If he doesn’t follow the rules, Oak Park and Moose Lake (prisons) are not going away. Probation would give everybody a chance. All we are asking for is the mercy of 30 years probation with conditions.”

The mother of the victim read a statement, with tears and anger. The following are portions of her statement.

“You not only hurt (the victim) but the whole family,” she said. “The families will never be the same. There will never be any more visits to your house, no more birthday presents. All is gone.

“The more you stepped into our lives, the more you took over. She moved in with you to go to school in Moose Lake.

“I’m super upset that you had no clue of what was going on around you. You took something from (the victim) that she will never get back. Paul, you hurt us so much. ... I thought that you were someone that I could put my trust in.

“Paul, when you get out of prison, I will never allow you to be a part of my family. As a parent, I am going to put my family first. Things will never be the same. At this point, I don’t know what the future holds for us.”

Jeffrey Boucher, Assistant Carlton County Attorney, read the victim’s statement. The following is portions of the statement.

“As the oldest, I felt that I was not my parents’ top priority. Paul took major advantage of my body. He put me in the position of a role model.

“... Paul taught me how to drive. Over a few months, I felt a lot of things, that I had a friend.

“Later, I was filled with anxiety. You not only hurt me, you hurt everyone around me. You will never, ever be able to do that again.

“(H)e manipulated (my family). (But) I still miss you.”

Boucher pointed out that the actions of Jeffers were like a rock thrown into the water, they caused ripples.

“Like a rock hitting the water, his actions have spread far,” he said. “His actions have hurt families and have a lasting impact on the families and the community. Mr. Jeffers’ actions have not only spread ripples, they have spread waves. I see continued pain. (The victim’s) statement suggests self-harm; she has called Crisis Lines. Their statements are greater arguments than I might have ever made.”

Boucher recommended that Jeffers be sentenced to the full 144 months.

Jeffers was asked if he wished to make a statement.

He turned to look at the victim and her mother and apologized.

“I apologize to (the victim) and her family,” he said. “That’s all that I have to say.”

Judge Leslie Beiers took a 15-minutes break and left the courtroom.

When she returned, she stated that she could only depart from the sentence if there were compelling circumstances.

“You have no criminal history,” she said. “You’ve done good things in life. But I don’t think that they were substantial.

“This is a very serious crime; it made a great impact on a family. She was vulnerable at the time of the offense.”

Beiers denied a motion for a departure and committed Jeffers to 144 months with the Commissioner of Corrections, with credit for 30 days served. He was fined $50 plus $85 in surcharges.

Beiers remanded Jeffers to custody. The bailiff snapped handcuffs on him and led him away.

 

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