- Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - A Fairbanks man whose 50-year prison sentence for sexually abusing a girl was overturned last year will remain behind bars for decades to come.

Superior Court Judge Paul Lyle sentenced Joseph Turney, 44, on Friday to 46 years in prison, with five years suspended for time already served, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (https://is.gd/wmqFX9 ).

The former school bus driver was arrested in January 2009, and he later pleaded no contest to abusing the girl - a relative - over a seven-year period.

The 50-year prison term was overturned last year when an appellate court ruled the lower court made a mistake in applying an aggravating factor when issuing the sentence.

The case was sent back to the lower court for Friday’s resentencing.

Lyle told Turney he found the case to be egregious and “truly extraordinary.”

“I think this is a very aggravated case,” the judge said. “Mr. Turney sexually abused the victim from the time she was 11 until the time she was 18. … Over that course of time, that translates into hundreds and hundreds of sexual assaults.”

Turney’s attorney argued for a sentence of 28 years in prison, reduced by five years for time served. Turney, as well as his parents, spoke in court, appealing for a shorter sentence. The three said Turney has taken responsibility for his actions.

Lyle didn’t buy it. He said the continued years of abuse were calculated and he believed the chance for Turney to rehabilitate was low.

“He did not however take responsibility for his crime from day one,” he said. “If he had been responsible, there would not have been a second sexual assault.”

Turney had no prior criminal history when he was arrested in early 2009. The ensuing investigation by Alaska State Troopers covered 20 months.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com


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