JUNEAU – A 20-year-old Hustisford man was sentenced to nine months in jail and three years of probation after pleading no contest to charges of fourth degree sexual assault and threatening to injure or accuse someone of a crime.
Eric Bricco, N4505 Hickory Road, also received a two-year deferred prosecution agreement on one count of second degree sexual assault of a child. If he follows all of the terms of the agreement, including not having any direct or indirect contact or communication with either victim, not being present at the victim’s school or school events, no sexual contact or relationship with anyone under the age of 18, no abusive or violent contact with anyone and no civil or criminal charges, then the charge would be dismissed at the end of the two years.
If he breaks any of those rules, which are the same for the three years of probation, he will face two years of incarceration and two years of extended supervision for threatening injury and additional prison time for the sexual assault charge.
Bricco was accused of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old Juneau girl who he was dating in 2011. Two weeks before he was to be sentenced in that case, a 12-year-old girl came forward, claiming that Bricco had kissed her and then threatened to hurt her if she told anyone.
A bail jumping charge was also dismissed but read into the record.
Prosecuting attorney James Sempf said that he felt that Bricco deserved a chance to not be labeled as a sex offender. However, he felt that some jail time was needed for the offenses.
“My primary concern is the pattern,” Sempf said. “The pattern doesn’t look good.”
Defense attorney Jacquelyn Wolter said that the second charges were, in her opinion, suspect, as the girl who claimed to be frightened of Bricco initiated contact with him.
“He wasn’t very bright having contact with her,” Wolter said. “He’s here. He’s taking responsibility. He made some really stupid mistakes. He’s growing up. He’s maturing. He’s got a lot to lose.”
Judge Andrew Bissonnette said the pattern of behavior caused him a lot of concern. He said the most aggravating part of the case was that the second offense occurred so close to the sentencing of the first, almost as if Bricco was thumbing his nose at the law.
“I’m not going to send him to prison today, although if I did it would be understandable,” Bissonnette said. “He’s damn lucky he’s not going to prison today. I’ll put it bluntly.”
He said that he’s hoping Bricco can succeed. However, he warned that there would be no mercy if he messed up again.
“If you come back, I’ll send you [to prison] for a long, long, long time,” Bissonnette said.