Laramie Man Sentenced to Prison for Sexual Abuse of a Minor
A Laramie man will spend time in prison after admitting to having sex with an underage girl.
Felipe Lehtinen, 20, was sentenced to five to 12 years in prison Tuesday in Albany County District Court after pleading guilty to one count of second degree sexual abuse of a minor.
Lehtinen will have to register as a sex offender and complete a psychosexual evaluation upon his release from prison.
Judge Jeffrey Donnell included a recommendation for boot camp in the sentencing order. Lehtinen would be eligible for a sentence reduction upon successful completion of that program.
Court documents say Lehtinen was charged after the victim’s guardians told Laramie Police on Oct. 27 about Facebook messages that indicated the victim and Lehtinen were involved in a sexual relationship.
The victim told police that she and Lehtinen had sexual intercourse on four or five occasions over the course of their relationship.
According to the affidavit, Lehtinen initially denied having sex with the victim during his police interview before eventually admitted to doing so about two weeks before the interview. He also stated that he knew the victim was 15 years old at the time.
In court Tuesday, Lehtinen said it wasn’t easy for him to hear the charges brought against him at his arraignment last year, but they were words he needed to hear.
“Nobody needs to go through any of this,” said Lehtinen. “I’m deeply sorry for everything that has happened.”
Defense attorney Candace Pisciotti noted that Lehtinen was “sincerely remorseful” about his actions and had not been able to spend any time with his infant son.
Prosecutor Kurt Britzius recommended the sentence include “punitive measures” to give solace to the victim and her family as well as well as an element of rehabilitation for Lehtinen.
“Hopefully it can help him become a productive member of society,” said Britzius.
Britzius and Pisciotti agreed upon the boot camp recommendation included in the pre-sentence investigation report as part of the plea deal.
Donnell noted that Lehtinen would not be the only one suffering while serving his prison sentence.
“Everything you do affects really everybody in this courtroom,” said Donnell. “They’re all going to pay for this right along with you.”