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North Platte man heads to pen for sexual assaultTell North Platte what you think
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Edward A. Maline

Edward Maline, 41, of North Platte was sentenced Monday to 5-10 years in the Nebraska State Penitentiary for sexual assault of a child.

Maline was convicted in mid-December, nearly a year after he was charged. The charge is based on the testimony of a victim about incidents she said occurred over a 10-year period. The woman, now 19, said touching and “acts sexual in nature” began when she was as young as 8 or 9 and progressed over the next decade.

There is no statute of limitations on child sexual assault in Nebraska.

Before Maline was sentenced in Lincoln County District Court, defense attorney Robert Lindemeier put Maline’s mother on the stand and questioned her about the state of the victim and the victim’s mother.

Maline’s mother has known the victim and her mother throughout the time the abuse took place.

Lindemeier asked about the “emotional devastation” that prosecutors said the victim and her mother suffered. Maline’s mother said she had not observed such devastation.

Lindemeier asked her how the victim’s mother was doing and Maline’s mother said she is a good mother and is doing a good job of raising her children.

Lindemeier asked Maline’s mother if she saw any difficulties in the family because of emotional devastation. She said she had not.

Lindemeier told the court that the claim of devastation was exaggerated, and if this were not a sexual assault case, he would ask for probation.

“I know the court has standards on this kind of crime that usually end up with a maximum sentence, but I am asking the court to deviate from that this time,” he said.

Lindemeier also pointed out that the presentence investigation report said Maline is not a risk to reoffend. He said a number of letters vouching for Maline were on file with the court. He told the court that Maline had undergone psychiatric testing and evaluation and was determined not to be a pedophile.

Lindemeier argued that Maline should not be subject to the maximum sentence, in part because he had “absolutely no past criminal record” and that it was obvious that statements during pre-trial depositions were out of control and exaggerated.

“People were screaming for a 10-20 year sentence in the depositions,” he said. “and what was told about the incidents and the devastation suffered by the victim was way overblown.”

Lindemeier said the victim went to college in Kearney, but suddenly claimed she had emotional problems that required counseling and then left school and has not returned.

Lincoln County District judge Donald Rowlands agreed to deviate from the maximum sentence, but would not go as far as the minimum of 1 year. Rowlands said Maline deserved some credit for openly admitting what he did early in the investigation and showing remorse.

“There obviously is some dispute over what really happened and how long it went on. I am also taking note of the letters that have been written in support of Mr. Maline,” Rowlands said.

Maline will get credit for two days spent in the county jail. He must register as a sex offender.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 2/3/2014
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