Weems gets 10 years in child molestation case

KINGMAN - Mohave County Judge Steven F. Conn sentenced a 24-year-old Kingman man to 10 years in prison followed by a lifetime of probation on two charges of attempted molestation of a child.

Conn sentenced Matthew Weems on Monday after Weems entered a guilty plea agreement with the Mohave County Attorney's Office.

The sentence was the presumptive sentence for molestation of a child and the maximum amount of time Conn could give, according to the plea agreement.

Weems also received credit for 250 days already served.

Weems will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

"Of course, when you look at these types of cases, it's not pleasant to look at the facts," said Daniel DeRienzo, Weems' defense attorney, prior to sentencing.

DeRienzo added he felt the actions of Weems were on the lower end of the spectrum for sexual crimes against minors.

Conn attributed Weems' prior criminal record and the age of the victims, 5 and 11 years, as aggravating factors. Conn said the age of Weems and the fact that there was no physical contact with the victims were mitigating factors. Conn said the aggravating and mitigating factors balanced each other out.

Weems addressed the court prior to sentencing, saying he pleaded guilty to the charges because he felt he had "a slim chance of beating it at the trial."

Weems was facing one attempted molestation of a child charge, two public sexual indecency to a minor charges, one furnishing obscene or harmful items to minors charge and one molestation of a child charge.

According to court documents, Weems had moved to Kingman from New Jersey approximately six months prior to the incidents.

He pled not guilty at his arraignment on July 31 and was being held on $3,500 bond.