An Idaho Falls man who was originally charged with lewd conduct with a minor was sentenced to a rider program Monday.
The charge against Adrian Kovalsky, 36, was reduced to battery with intent to commit a serious felony as part of the plea agreement.
Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Alayne Bean said the plea agreement was reached after mediation between the parties and that the details were shared with the victim. She said part of the reason the prosecution agreed to the deal was to spare the victim from having to testify against Kovalsky.
Kovalsky was arrested in October, 11 months after a warrant was first issued for his arrest. The victim, who was 12 years old at the time, said Kovalsky raped her five times at various locations. She said he told her to tell people he knew that she was 18 and that he told her not to tell anyone what happened.
The victim's mother read an impact statement to the court on behalf of the victim. The victim wrote that she had nightmares and flashbacks about what happened.
"I feel like I can never not be watching my back," the victim wrote.
The victim said the incidents negatively impacted her relationships with family members and that she was now uncomfortable around men.
"I used to love being a happy, innocent child," The victim wrote. "Now that has been taken away from me."
Defense Attorney Willis Bradley highlighted a portion of the psychosexual evaluation performed on Kovalsky that said he was a low risk to recommit child sex abuse. The evaluator determined Kovalsky was not sexually attracted to minors by default and that his actions were the result of his poor impulse control.
Bradley said his client had lived a hard life, growing up in foster homes and frequently being homeless, unemployed and addicted to drugs and alcohol. He also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and epilepsy.
Bradley said a rider program could help Kovalsky with his problems. He also pointed out that Kovalsky had spent nearly a year in jail while his case proceeded.
"As he indicated for me, he's crying out for help," Bradley said.
Bean agreed with Bradley that Kovalsky's difficult life was a mitigating factor. She expressed concern about Kovalsky's attitude toward his crime. She quoted the presentence investigation, in which Kovalsky told the investigator: "I hung out with the wrong person and got arrested."
Bean said Kovalsky was blaming the victim for his arrest rather than taking accountability for his own actions. She said he also told the victim he "forgave" her for turning him in and testifying against him.
"To imply that the victim is a bad influence or of the like is pretty ridiculous," Bean said.
Bean added that the victim had to go through a difficult event in testifying during Kovalsky's preliminary hearing. She noted that at one point Kovalsky had to be told to stop making faces at the victim while she testified.
Kovalsky gave a brief statement to the court.
"I take responsibility for my actions I committed," Kovalsky said.
District Judge Joel Tingey accepted the recommended sentence of a rider program. The underlying sentence was three years fixed and seven indeterminate. Bean said Kovalsky also will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release.
A rider program, also known as retained jurisdiction, is a treatment program lasting six months to a year that aims to reduce an inmate's likelihood to reoffend. At the end of the program, Tingey can release Kovalsky on probation if he's successful in treatment or impose the underlying sentence if he is not.