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Tue, Aug. 20

Molester Coleman sentenced

Leston Harry Coleman

Leston Harry Coleman

KINGMAN - A man who entered into a plea agreement last September has finally been sentenced on the third try.

Leston Harry Coleman's elderly mother attended her 44-year-old son's first sentencing hearing in December and phoned a message to the court for his second hearing in January that he was too sick to attend himself.

Coleman's mother was again in court for her son's third sentencing attempt Thursday and left the courtroom in disgust after Leston was sentenced to 2-½ years in prison for allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with his 28-year-old stepdaughter, who has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old.

Leston Coleman was arrested one week after a warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear at his second sentencing hearing Jan. 22.

Coleman pled guilty pursuant to Alford last fall to one charge of vulnerable adult abuse by domestic violence but continues to maintain that he is being framed by the Kingman Police Department, the Mohave County Attorney's Office, the court and members of his own family.

An Alford plea is similar to a no-contest plea in which a defendant acknowledges that there is evidence against them but is not formally admitting guilt. In this case, the plea stipulates that Coleman acknowledge that the abuse was for his sexual gratification.

Coleman made a rambling, 14-minute long statement at Thursday's hearing before Judge Rick Williams where he disputed the woman's mental diagnosis and claimed that she was being abused by another relative. He also apologized for posting sensitive case information on the Internet.

'I was trying to counter some things, to tell the truth, but I guess I got overzealous," he said.

"He took advantage of someone who didn't have the means or know-how to protect themself," County Attorney Victoria Stazio said.

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