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Riverton woman gets jail term for teen sex offenses
Mar 21, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer
One night after contacting a teenage boy who is a minor, she picked him up at a sleepover party, drove him to a park, and had sex with him on the ground.
In a separate situation, Sloan Michelle Lane had sex with another boy who is a minor in the back seat of her truck, according to statements made in court during her sentencing Wednesday morning in Lander.
No parents of an adolescent child should have to worry about a 32-year-old woman "having sex with their children, and that is what happened here," Fremont County Deputy Attorney Patrick LeBrun said in court.
The Riverton woman's sexual encounters with the boys resulted in a one-year jail sentence that started at the conclusion of her roughly 100-minute sentencing in Lander's 9th District Court.
More than 20 people arrived to show their support for Lane, who cried and hugged people entering the courtroom before the hearing started. On the courtroom's other side, five members of the victims' families attended and listened in silence.
District Judge Marvin L. Tyler of Sublette County sentenced Lane in accordance with the plea agreement in her case reached in December. Her sentence included a year in jail for misdemeanor sexual battery, to which she pleaded no contest in January.
She also received suspended but consecutive prison sentences of between three and five years on each of two counts of third-degree sexual abuse of minor, to which she pleaded guilty.
The plea agreement calls for eight years of supervised probation instead of prison for the two sexual abuse charges. But if she violates her probation she could face a revocation hearing and prison.
At times Lane dabbed her eyes with a tissue as she listened during the hearing, occasionally answering simple questions with "Yes, Your Honor" or "No, Your Honor."
"I just want to say I'm truly sorry for everything that has happened, and I am very sorry to the families," she said before Tyler announced her sentencing.
The sentencing capped a nearly nine-month ordeal that started in August with an investigation by the Fremont County Sheriff's Office.
Ryan Lee, a detective sergeant with the agency at the time, had interviewed an alleged victim in the case who said he had sexual intercourse with Lane, according to the court documents.
The boy said he had met Lane on Facebook about two to three months earlier. Lee a short while later spoke with another alleged victim in the case, who also claimed he had sex with Lane.
In court, Lane told Tyler about corrections she requested in her presentence investigation report, telling the court it incorrectly stated one victim was intoxicated during their intercourse.
"Another statement, I did not dress up as a prisoner for Halloween and go out to the bar that night," Lane said.
LeBrun started out his recommendation to accept the plea agreement by calling the matter "a very serious crime here, not just from a purely legal point of view but how it affects families involved in this case."
Although she has no criminal history, the case came close to being one that results in incarceration in prison, LeBrun said.
"She is going to serve a year in jail, which for Sloan Lane is a very significant thing," he said, noting the addition of eight years of supervised probation starting when she finishes her incarceration.
"I think it's hopefully enough time to cause her to grow up a little bit," he said, pointing out she will be about 40 at the time her probation ends.
The one year of jail in her case is enough of a punishment "that would frighten molesters of adolescent boys" as a deterrent, LeBrun said.
He also recommended Lane should not be able to use the Internet or be "around anyone under the age of 18, particularly boys," during her probation, LeBrun said, noting an exception for her children.
"She doesn't believe she is a sex offender, Judge, I don't think. But she is," he said. "She had sex with two boys, one of them was 14. ... It's not a defense in my opinion to say, 'Well, I thought he was 16.' That's ridiculous coming from a 32-year-old woman."
Defense attorney Jeff Stanbury said his client has accepted responsibility for her actions. "I want the court to know from the beginning of this throughout her life she understands what she did was wrong," he said.
Also pointing to her lack of criminal history, Stanbury said, "This situation was very out of character for her."
Stanbury said Lane will be a registered sex offender for at least 18 years.
"She can't change what she did in the past," but she accepts responsibility and her punishment, he said. "She can move forward and try to change her future."
Tyler said he can understand why some may not agree with the plea deal and sentence in the case.
"I think it's a fair agreement. I think overall it's a just agreement," he said.