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Sinclair likely to get counseling instead of prison

"A 22-year-old Oak Harbor who recently pleaded guilty to rape of a child in the second-degree will likely get treatment instead of prison time under the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative law.Robert Sinclair, Jr. was first charged with the rape of a child in Oct. 1997. He pleaded guilty last Friday.The case took two and a half years to resolve for several reasons. Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock twice issued bench warrants on Sinclair after he didn't show for court hearings. The long discovery process also pushed the trial date ahead several times.Sinclair admitted that he had sexual relations with a 13-year-old Oak Harbor girl from Sept. 15 to Nov. 15, 1996. The victim told investigators that he persuaded her to have sex at the girl's home when her mother was away.Sinclair said that the relationship ended after he started going out with the victim's sister. Sinclair will be sentenced after the Department of Corrections completes a presentence report. The prosecution has agreed to recommend the sentencing alternative - counseling instead of prison - if the report shows that he is amenable to treatment.The standard range for a second-degree child rape conviction is four years and three months to five years and eight months in prison. "

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