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Winthrop man designated Level 2 sex offender for sex act with teen

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CANTON — The Winthrop man who was sentenced to 10 years of probation for performing oral sex on a 13-year-old teen with an emotional disorder will have to register as a sex offender for life.

St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards classified Michael A. Francis Sr., 56, of 292 Mahoney Rd. as a Level 2 sex offender Monday afternoon in St. Lawrence County Court during his Sex Offender Risk Assessment hearing.

In addition to his July 8 sentence to probation, Francis was sentenced to 120 days in jail on weekends beginning Fridays at 4 p.m. and ending Mondays at 7 a.m. for his conviction of second-degree attempted criminal sex act.

Francis’s attorney, Charles B. Nash, told the judge that the victim was reported as having “emotional” disorders, which could not be considered learning disabilities according to the law.

Judge Richards, however, said in sub-section 5 of that law, mentally disabled is defined as a person who suffers from a mental disease or defect which renders him or her incapable of appraising the nature of his or her conduct.

The victim, in this case, the judge said, had social and emotional delays which caused her to function “like a latency aged child,” causing her to be mentally incapacitated and unable to consent.

During Francis’s sentencing, Judge Richards expressed his disgust with the situation.

The judge said that information on the child’s mental health was not made available when he was making his judgment. He suggested if it had been Francis would have been facing a much longer sentence in a state prison instead of probation and weekends in the county jail.

Francis does not fit any of the designations on the assessment instrument that would classify him a sexual predator, sexually violent offender or a predicate sex offender.

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