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Sentencing of accused SK daycare molestor delayed

Accused child molester Chad Norman’s sentencing has been moved yet again, to Aug. 25.

According to Kitsap County Prosecutor Jennifer Forbes, Norman’s defense attorney wants time to complete another psychological evaluation on him.

Norman, 19-year-old South Kitsap man, has been charged with one count of first-degree child molestation for allegedly sexually molesting two children at his mother’s home-based day care.

According to court documents, between March 17, 2001, and Aug. 31, 2001, Norman molested an five-year-old girl and an nine-year-old girl who were clients at his mother’s business, Karla’s Daycare. In interviews with Kitsap County Prosecutors, the children said Norman touched them sexually but did not attempt to have sex with them. Police were alerted to the alleged crime when parents of children at the daycare heard their youngsters talking about the alleged abuse.

Karla’s Daycare has been closed since the investigation began.

Formal charges were filed against Norman in December, although the court approved a conditional release on personal recognizance so he could continue attending college in Pullman.

Since May, Norman has been undergoing evaluation for the state’s SSOSA program — an arrangement that allows sex offenders to get counseling and treatment in return for a serious reduction in their sentence. If Norman is approved for SSOSA by the judge, he will serve only a few months in jail instead of the 68 months currently recommended by the prosecution.

Because Norman has no prior criminal history, the standard sentencing range is 51 to 68 months in prison. The maximum penalty is life.

The evaluation was supposed to be complete by July 30, but delays pushed the sentencing date forward to last Monday. However, in a surprise move, Norman’s attorney petitioned the court July 25 — three days before his scheduled sentencing date — for more time to get a second evaluation done.

Forbes was not happy about the court’s decision to grant the defense’s request.

“I objected because this has been going on for quite awhile,” she said.

Forbes said she didn’t know why the defense would want another evaluation or whether the first evaluation was even complete. However, she did say the court is typically reluctant to move forward with a SSOSA-based sentencing without the SSOSA evaluation.

Norman’s attorney, Kingston-based Jeanette Dalton, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

According to the plea agreement documents, if Norman decides not to ask for SSOSA after the investigation is complete or doesn’t want to plead guilty, he will undergo a non-jury hearing where the judge will decide whether or not he’s guilty. If the judge does not approve a SSOSA sentence, Norman will likely get the 68-month sentence recommended by the prosecution.

Even if Norman does get SSOSA, if he doesn’t follow its strict guidelines he risks getting the full recommended penalty imposed anyway.

Forbes said this arrangement is a compromise designed to save the victims further trauma, although she said to have the process drag on like this is frustrating for victims — and their families — seeking closure.

“Sometimes thing do take awhile, but at some point you have to draw the line,” Forbes said.

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