Vt. decides to treat molester in prison after outrage over judge’s sentence | VailDaily.com

Vt. decides to treat molester in prison after outrage over judge’s sentence

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The state Wednesday ordered that a child molester considered a low risk get treatment in prison, responding to a judge who set off furious criticism by giving the defendant a 60-day sentence to ensure he received treatment quickly.Human Services Secretary Michael Smith said he was issuing the order so that Vermont District Court Judge Edward Cashman would impose a lengthy sentence on Mark Hulett, who admitted molesting a girl beginning when she was 6.”We will provide treatment in prison for Mr. Hulett,” Smith said. “In return I would hope the court would decide to side with the prosecutors.”Prosecutors were set to return to court Friday to ask Cashman to reconsider his Jan. 4 sentence. Neither prosecutors nor Hulett’s attorney, Mark Kaplan, could immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.The judge’s decision outraged the victim’s family and many others. Gov. James Douglas condemned the sentence, House Republicans introduced a resolution calling on Cashman to resign and one state senator is urging his impeachment.Hulett, 34, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault and a lesser crime. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and probation for life, but Cashman suspended all but 60 days of the prison term, saying Hulett would not get the treatment he needs in prison.The Department of Corrections’ sex offender treatment team found that Hulett’s risk to re-offend was low, which under department policy meant he would not get treatment behind bars. Cashman disagreed with that assessment, writing that Hulett had the emotional maturity of a 12- to 14-year-old and did not understand why others were so upset by his actions.If treatment were delayed for years, Cashman wrote, Hulett would pose a greater long-term risk to the community. If Hulett failed to live up to the conditions of his release, he could be returned to prison for up to a life term.”I owe it to the judiciary and to my own conscience to maintain a stand that I believe is the best possible option in a very difficult situation,” the judge said.Smith said his order allowing treatment for Hulett in prison could apply to future inmates.”What I am saying is that if judges are going to use this as an excuse then I will provide treatment,” he said.Vail, Colorado

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