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MailTribune.com
  • Molester gets virtual death sentence

    Californian, 59, abused two girls he knew over Thanksgiving in 2010
  • A 59-year-old California man convicted of sexually abusing two young girls entrusted to him over 2010's Thanksgiving weekend here was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison — a term he and the judge both called a death sentence.
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  • A 59-year-old California man convicted of sexually abusing two young girls entrusted to him over 2010's Thanksgiving weekend here was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison — a term he and the judge both called a death sentence.
    Michael Allen Doughty was sentenced during a Monday hearing that included a rambling, 20-minute soliloquy in which he described his connection to his victims' families, the trips they once took together, his faithfulness to his wife and his failing health.
    While Doughty apologized to the families for the grief he caused them, he never apologized Monday to the victims, who were 7 and 8 at the time.
    "Don't have the girls look to the past but to the future," Doughty said in court.
    "I never wanted to hurt anyone or do any damage to someone's lives like this," he said. "I know I will never see freedom again."
    Before handing down the sentence, Jackson County Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia told Doughty his statements directly to the victims' family and his own wife, all sitting in the gallery, were "almost stomach-turning."
    A jury two weeks ago convicted Doughty on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of unlawful sexual penetration, the latter of which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years under a 2006 sentencing change known as Jessica's Law.
    "That, basically, is a death sentence for you," Mejia told Doughty.
    Doughty, of Lathrop, Calif., had a long connection with the victims' families and owned a rental property in east Medford. During a Thanksgiving week trip to Medford in 2010, he molested the 8-year-old victim at his rental, then later that week abused the younger girl at her Central Point home.
    The girls told family members of the abuse after Doughty left town, according to court testimony.
    Doughty dodged interviews with police and even moved to Panama before a Jackson County grand jury indicted him in December 2011, Deputy District Attorney Terry Smith-Norton said. Doughty was arrested at the U.S. Embassy in Panama in June 2012 and returned to the United States to face the charges, she said.
    A jury on Nov. 14 convicted Doughty on three of the four felony charges he faced during a two-day trial and he was immediately lodged in the Jackson County Jail.
    The fathers of both victims spoke directly to Doughty from the gallery during Monday's hearing.
    "You violated the trust of our family," one father told Doughty. "You have made our kids not trust people they should trust. You've ruined part of their childhoods."
    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.
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