Russell Everett Jr.

Everett

CONTRIBUTED

Russell Everett Jr. had two words for the courtroom when Judge Bruce Haskell asked if he had anything to say as he sentenced him to life in prison.

"I'm innocent," he said.

In June, a jury convicted Everett, 38, of two Class AA felony counts of gross sexual imposition related to sex acts on a young boy in 2011. He was charged a year ago.

On Sept. 21, Haskell sentenced Everett, of Washburn, to two concurrent sentences of life in prison with the possibility of parole and credit for time served. Everett also must register as a sex offender.

"I typically don't do this," Haskell said before the sentencing as he also summarized Everett's history of substance abuse and his criminal record.

Burleigh County Assistant State's Attorney Marina Spahr had asked for concurrent sentences of 40 years in prison with 20 years suspended, $1,085 in fees and sex offender registration and treatment, as well as credit for 271 days served and no contact with the victim.

"(The victim) is still very scared," Spahr said. "He doesn't want any contact or to see the defendant again. He obviously is scarred for life."

Everett, she said, has shown no remorse.

"The defendant remains adamant he did not do this crime," Spahr said.

Public defender Todd Ewell requested Russell serve eight years and left anything else to Haskell's discretion.

Everett's conviction on the two Class AA felonies carried a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and registration as a sex offender for each count.

"There is nothing that can make reparations to the victim for the damage that was done to him," Haskell said. "I'm not going to hold it against (Everett) maintaining his innocence."

Everett stared straight ahead as he heard his sentence. Six or seven citizens attended his court appearance.

"Thank you for ruining my life," a female acquaintance of Everett told Spahr as she exited the courtroom.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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