-----------ORIGINAL POST 12/13/2011--------
Remember this tough on crime prosecutor?
Look at what a swell deal this former corrections officer got from her people. Never would have guessed he'd do the minimum time. I also wonder why the AZ Daily Star is afraid to call this crime what it really was: the repeated rape of a child...
Friday, December 2, 2011Posted: Arizona Daily Star
A Tucson man was sentenced to one year in prison and 7 1/2 years of probation Thursday for having sex with a friend's 14-year-old daughter.
Robert Joseph Hamm, 32, a former Arizona Department of Corrections officer, pleaded guilty in Pima County Superior Court to sexual conduct with a minor and assault in October.
Hamm was facing between one and two years in prison on the assault charge, and he could have received between five and 15 years in prison on the other charge.
The girl's father wrote a letter to Judge Richard Fields saying he has forgiven Hamm but feels incredibly betrayed because he considered Hamm a brother.
It would have been better if Hamm had died, the man wrote. Had he died, the family could mourn his loss and move on, but the harm he has done will never be repaired, the father said.
A tearful Hamm apologized for his "terrible mistake" and said he would regret it the rest of his life.
Assistant Pima County Public Defender Walt Palser asked for the one-year sentence, noting Hamm's remorse and shame. No sentence could make Hamm feel worse about himself, Palser said.
The girl's mother read her diary after catching the teen sneaking out of the house in August, according to court documents. The diary contained explicit details of sexual encounters between the girl and Hamm. When interviewed by authorities, the girl acknowledged she and Hamm had sexual intercourse on three occasions.
At the time, Hamm denied having a relationship with the girl, but said, "Anything was possible while he is passed out from alcohol," court documents state.
Hamm will have to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. While on probation, he will have to abide by special sex-offender rules.
Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or firstname.lastname@example.org