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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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3/27/2014 6:00:00 AM
Man sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in rape case
Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT, Arizona - A man who was alleged to have raped a developmentally disabled 17-year-old boy in 2012 was sentenced on lesser charges Wednesday, in a case one attorney called "one of the most difficult" she'd ever litigated.

Michael Klempner, 20, was a resident of a Prescott Valley group home that houses adult males who had troubled childhoods, according to a probable cause statement written by a YCSO detective. The victim was on a supervised camping trip to Lynx Lake on Sept. 10, 2012, and was paired with Klempner in an effort to help him build social skills so that he could move into the same group home, the statement said.

When the two returned from a hike, the boy told a caseworker that he had been raped, the statement said. A deputy interviewed him and he repeated the claim.

Klempner was originally indicted on one count each of sexual assault, kidnapping, sexual conduct with a minor, and luring a minor for sexual exploitation.

A plea agreement cut those charges to attempted sexual assault, luring a minor for sexual exploitation, and kidnapping.

Wednesday, a family member of the victim told Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley that the wrong defendant was in the courtroom.

"I think that the people who should be here are the group home (managers) and the company that failed these boys," she said. "Both of these boys are victims."

Klempner's attorney, M. Alex Harris, said "This is probably one of the most difficult cases I have had because of the fact that my clients is a victim and has been victimized over his life."

She said he understood that he would have to take responsibility for his actions, however.

"I have endured a lot," Klempner said, but he's become a "strong Christian" and he has matured. "My life has changed," he said.

Ainley agreed that "this is a difficult case."

She sentenced him to 3.5 years in prison followed by lifetime sex offender probation.



Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Article comment by: How About The Group Home?

The question of the group home management's liability for their poor decision to send the boys off unsupervised is a compelling one. Daily Courier, is there any additional action taking place in placing the responsibility where it's due?

Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Article comment by: Byte Me

Another glowing recommendation for the group home/rehab industry. How is the registration and regulation going by the way?



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