Sunday, November 13, 2005

 

Legislator Urged To Not Sentence Sex Offender To Prison


TULSA, Okla. -- A state legislator wrote to a Tulsa County judge on behalf of a man who was convicted of sexually abusing two girls, recommending no more than a suspended sentence, records show.

Rep. Jerry McPeak, D-Warner, said in the letter that incarcerating Michael Pat Thompson, who was sentenced last month to four life prison terms, "would be a malfeasance of justice." "It would be a cost to taxpayers and would accomplish nothing," he wrote.

The letter -- dated Oct. 18 and bearing an emblem of the state seal and a "House of Representatives" heading -- was submitted to Associate District Judge Caroline Wall, who received many letters that were filed as court documents in Thompson's case.

Jurors on Oct. 12 found Thompson, 58, guilty of four counts of sexually abusing two girls who are the daughters of a woman Thompson had dated.

The jury sentenced Thompson, a former Broken Arrow resident, to a life prison sentence and a $5,000 fine on each count.

At an Oct. 26 formal sentencing, Wall denied a motion for a new trial and denied defense requests for concurrent or suspended sentences. She ordered that the four life prison sentences run consecutively.

The girls are now ages 16 and 17. Thompson was charged with committing offenses in 1999 and 2000 involving one girl and in 2003 involving her sister.

He did not testify at his trial and has adamantly maintained that he is innocent of the sex-abuse charges, defense attorney Stan Monroe said. Thompson is appealing the trial result.

McPeak's letter states that he and Thompson "were teenagers together" and that he has observed Thompson "in both family and social situations. At no time was his behavior questionable when he came in contact with young people, adolescents, or teenagers."

McPeak, who indicated that he taught psychology in college for 15 years, wrote that "if you must assign him time, please consider a suspension. This is much more logical, and your decision will prove to be a wise one."

Efforts to reach McPeak by phone for possible comment were unsuccessful.

After the trial, Assistant District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said he thinks the outcome reflects an expression from 12 citizens concerning "child molesters, who are a scourge on society."

In a separate case, a Tulsa federal judge in 2004 sentenced Thompson to two years and three months in prison for fraud and ordered him to pay the Bank of Oklahoma $730,138 in restitution. He had pleaded guilty to an allegation that he received more than $1 million in loans by making false statements to the bank.


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