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Tulsa Man Gets Life Sentence in Second Sex Abuse Conviction

15-Jan-2016

A previously convicted sex offender has been sentenced to life without parole for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl while on probation for an existing sex abuse conviction.

Jimmy Lee Fields, 70, of Tulsa, spent four years in prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting another 14-year-old girl in 2000. He was given a 15-year split sentence, and spent four years in prison to be followed by 10 years of probation. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

However, in November 2014, while he was still on probation for the first sex offense, another 14-year-old girl reported that Fields had sexually abused her over the prior summer. The girl says that fields touched her breast both over and under her shirt, touched her inner thigh as she sat on his lap, and touched her groin area over her clothing. 

Fields denied touching the girl's groin, but admitted to touching her breasts, saying he was, "Checking for lumps." He allegedly admitted that it was inappropriate for someone other than a medical professional to perform a breast exam on a 14-year-old girl.

Because of evidence that he sexually abused someone while on probation, and because of his failure to register as a sex offender, the district attorney filed a motion to revoke the suspended sentence, and Fields was ordered to spend 14 years in prison related to the first assault.

Meanwhile, in early December, a Tulsa County jury found Fields guilty of child sexual abuse. 

On Monday, Tulsa County District Judge Sharon Holmes followed the jury's recommendation in sentencing the 70-year-old man to life in prison without parole. The new sentence is to run concurrent with the 14-year sentence related to the first sex abuse case, probation violation, and failure to register. However, life without parole makes the distinction between concurrent and consecutive largely irrelevant.

Even if the defendant had been sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, it would likely have been moot for the 70-year-old. Child sexual abuse is an 85 percent crime, which requires the person convicted to serve 85 years of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. For these purposes, a life sentence is calculated at 45 years. If Fields served 85 percent of the first 45 years of a life sentence, he would have to spend more than 38 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. He would be 108 years old before achieving parole eligibility. While not impossible, such a scenario is highly unlikely. 

Life without parole, however, eliminates even the remotest of possibilities of release.



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