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Superior man gets 50 years for child sex assault

A Superior man was sentenced to 50 years in prison for first-degree sexual assault of a child younger than 12 in Douglas County Circuit Court.

Godfrey Joseph LaBonteGodfrey Joseph LaBonte, 37, was found guilty Nov. 7 by a Douglas County jury in connection with the incident that involved an 8-year-old.

Judge Kelly Thimm sentenced LaBonte to 35 years confinement and 15 years extended supervision Wednesday, Jan. 9, according to Douglas County District Attorney Mark Fruehauf.

In December 2017, the child victim disclosed the sexual assault to a family member and identified LaBonte as the perpetrator.

“This was not a case where DNA testing was possible,” Fruehauf said in a prepared statement. “One of the key pieces of evidence was a forensic interview conducted with the young child. A child forensic interview is a structured and specialized type of interview conducted by a trained professional, which uses best practices informed by research and science to ensure that any disclosures of abuse made by a child are truthful and reliable.”

Based on the forensic interview and further investigation conducted by the Superior Police Department and Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services, sufficient evidence was gathered and presented to the jury to convince the jurors of the defendant’s guilt.

The case was prosecuted and tried to a jury by District Attorney Mark Fruehauf.

At the sentencing hearing, Fruehauf highlighted the egregious nature of the crime and the defendant’s lengthy record, including 27 prior criminal convictions as justification for the sentence.