Posted Jan 20, 2012 08:38 pm CST
Acquitted last year in two separate trials concerning his alleged fondling of two pre-teen girls while working on a boat ride at a Florida theme park, a 40-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years yesterday by a judge who determined the evidence in the Broward County cases was sufficient to establish he had violated his probation.
The sentence, while significantly less than the life term Corey Hipscher could have received if convicted of child molestation, was the maximum possible term for the probation violation, reports the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Lawyers for Hipscher say they intend to appeal.
A lesser standard of proof applies to a probation violation than the criminal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Hipscher, who said the claimed victims in the theme park cases misinterpreted innocent contact, pleaded with Circuit Judge Martin Bidwill for more than an hour before he was sentenced, arguing that he had never before been accused of sexual misbehavior concerning children.
“We pursued all avenues to get prison time for this defendant,” prosecutor Maryanne Braun told the newspaper. “We absolutely believe those girls who said he molested them, and the court believed them as well.”