(OUACHITA PARISH) -- Judge Scott Leehy sentenced a Ouachita Parish man, Jacob Linder, to 10 years at hard labor after he was convicted by a 12 person jury on June 12 with one count of molestation of a juvenile.
Linder, a 32 year old white male, was enlisted in the La. National Guard when he was arrested in April of 2011 for sexual conduct involving a 13 year old female, while he was left with the supervision of the minor by her parents. The girl, whose family was closely associated with Linder and his family through their church, initially reported to her mother in 2009 that Linder had rubbed on the inside of her leg as he was taking her home one night from a church function. Her mother subsequently learned 3 years later from a youth pastor at her church that her daughter had reported the incident to be much more serious than originally reported.
Linder was subsequently charged with forcible rape and molestation of a juvenile. After a 2 day trial, the jury found Linder not guilty of the forcible rape, but convicted him of molestation of a juvenile by a person with supervision. After a presentence investigation, Linder was set for sentencing this morning. The State presented testimony of the officer from the Department of Probation and Parole who testified that while interviewing Mr. Linder for the report, Linder exhibited no remorse for his involvment in the crime. He also stated that Linder had acted as if his military service record entitled him to special consideration for sentencing.
Judge Leehy, in pronouncing his sentence, indicated that although the jury chose to give Mr. Linder a break as to the rape charge, he was nonetheless, impressed by the testimony of the victim and believed that she was sexually assaulted by Linder on a dirt road that he turned his truck onto while taking the victim home that night. The damaging consequences of the assault were clear in the victim's letter to Judge Leehy. Linder was facing a possible sentence range of not less than 5 nor more than 20 years at hard labor. In rendering a 10 year hard labor sentence, Judge Leehy noted a lack of criminal history and the Defendant's military career as mitigating factors. Upon his release from prison, Linder will have to register as a sex offender for the following 25 years.
Prosecution was by Neal G. Johnson and Michelle Anderson Defense attorney was Charles Kincade