Fred PaceCivitas News Service
February 5, 2013
MADISON — A Jeffrey man was sentenced to prison Thursday in Boone County Circuit Court on charges of sexual assault and delivery of marijuana.
Matthew Blankenship, 46, of Jeffrey, had pled guilty in October to one count of third degree sexual assault and three counts of delivery of marijuana after he allegedly supplied the drug to a pair of underage girls and sexually assaulting at least one of them.
Boone County Circuit Judge William Thompson sentenced Blankenship to four 1 to 5 years prison terms to run consecutive, which adds up to a 4 to 20 year sentence. The judge also said when Blankenship is released from jail he would be on a 50-year extended release.
“I find what you did very disturbing,” Judge Thompson told Blankenship during the sentencing hearing. “Claiming you had consensual sex with a 12 year old when you’re 48 years old is very disturbing.”
Blankenship’s two sisters and mother all asked the judge to consider probation and Blankenship’s defense attorney requested a sentence of home confinement.
Prosecutors, however, pointed to evaluations that stated Blankenship smoked marijuana almost daily and “tends to minimize his actions in this crime.” They added that Blankenship also has a criminal record, dating back to 1983, and he was considered at high risk for being a repeat offender.
Judge Thompson asked Blankenship why he committed the crimes, to which he responded “Bad choices.”
“You gave pot to a 12 year old girl that was staying all night with your daughter and sexually assaulted her, unfortunately that is more than a bad choice,” the judge said. “What really bothers me is that you have five children, including three daughters ages 17, 15 and 4. I don’t think you would like it if a 48 year old man did these things to your daughters.”
Blankenship said he was truly sorry for his actions and the pain he caused.
“I am truly and deeply sorry,” he said.
The victims’ impact statements were also read in court during the hearing.
“He deserves life in prison for what he did,” one of the victims said. “Our life has been changed forever because of him.”
The victims said they live in fear, have to take medicine for bad dreams and were now scared around all men.
“He messed up our life forever,” one victims’ statement said. “We hope he goes to jail for a long time, so that he cannot do this to another little girl and they will not have to go through what we have been through.”
Judge Thompson said he hoped the victims get some closure.
The alleged crimes took place in Blankenship’s Jeffrey home while the victims were staying overnight with one of Blankenship’s daughters.