EUGENE, Ore. - The parents of children sexually abused by a man who got probation instead of prison in part to save the county money on his medical bills are disappointed in how the justice system handled the case.
Elizabeth and Kristin White and their three children lived next door to 70-year-old Albert Leroy Golden. Golden was accused of molesting the children while they helped him after he suffered a stroke.
"Somehow, he ended upstairs, attacking my 13-year-old, pinning her down, more stuff," said Kristin White.
As a term of his probation, Golden isn't allowed to live near the victims anymore.
But facing a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 6 years, Golden agreed to a plea deal on lesser charges. He got probation and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
"I don't believe a 70-year-old becomes a predator overnight," Elizabeth White said. "I think he's probably been a predator for a very long time and just hasn't been caught."
By pleading guilty to lesser charges, Golden avoided prison. In return, the county no longer has to provide medical care in the jail to the bed-ridden man while he awaits trial.
"He belongs in prison," Kristin said. "And if our jail system can't take care of the sick people, then something needs to be changed."
Alex Gardner, the Lane County district attorney, said Golden was consider less of a risk because of his health. At the same time, providing him medical care cost the budget-strapped jail money.
The Whites don't buy it.
"He can move just fine," Kristin said. "He plays a good game."
Golden's stepdaughter, who asked not to be identified, isn't happy with the plea agreement, either.
"He deserved to be on trial like everybody else, he deserved safety," she told KVAL News, "and he deserved standard care and he didn't get it and here we are we are today."