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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Hayden Lake man faces up to 30 years in prison for having sexual contact with a child over a 10-year period

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 13, 2021

A Hayden Lake man will spend up to 30 years in prison for having sexual contact with a child for a decade, according to the Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Gerald C. Simmons was charged May 19 with lewd conduct with a minor under the age of 16, a felony. Prosecutors said Simmons pleaded guilty to the charge July 26, admitting that he engaged in sexual contact with a child between 2011 and May 2021.

Judge Scott Wayman sentenced Simmons last week to up to 30 years in prison, including a 15-year determinate sentence, according to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors said Wayman also authorized a no-contact order of protection for the victim effective over the next 15 years.

Simmons had no criminal history prior to this offense, prosecutors said Monday.

Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh said in a statement the prison term is appropriate “given the nature and long term commission of the crime.”

“These actions occurred over a long period of time, and will significantly impact the victim and her family forever,” McHugh wrote. “Mr. Simmons is highly intelligent and had been a productive member of society for years, making it even harder to explain why he felt his conduct was appropriate.”

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