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KS- Vigilante mom relieved to see molester sentenced

5-19-2009 Kansas:

Wichita — An admitted child molester who was on the receiving end of some vigilante justice by his victim's mother was sentenced to more than four years in prison on Friday.

One week ago, it looked like Scott Phillips might go free, even after a jury convicted him of fondling an 8-year-old girl. A judge threw out the conviction after it was discovered that jurors had been allowed to consider a lesser charge as an alternative to the original rape charge, a practice ruled illegal by the state Supreme Court.

But Judge Gregory Waller ruled that because of the problems with the first trial, it wouldn't be unconstitutional double jeopardy for Phillips to be re-tried.

So on Friday, Phillips pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, or criminal fondling. Waller then sentenced Phillips to four years and one month in prison. Good behavior in prison could shave off 15 percent of that sentence.

Hugging her daughter outside the courtroom, the victim's mother said the outcome was the best she could hope for.

"She won. This is a victory for her," she said, referring to her daughter.

"I am so excited. At least he's not going to walk out of here."

The mother isn't being named by The Associated Press to protect her daughter's identity.

The mother didn't wait for the first trial to try to punish Phillips. She was accused of abducting Phillips and threatening him and his family. In separate incidents, she defecated in his car, and removed him from work and forced him to disrobe in the woods. She is now on probation for criminally threatening Phillips.

The girl was 8 when the abuse occurred five years ago. She frequently spent the night at Phillips' home while her mother, a former Wichita police officer and longtime friend of Phillips' wife, Kaylene Phillips, was on duty.

Scott Phillips apologized to the girl in front of the court.

"I'm sorry for everything that happened. You need to know that none of it was your fault," he said. "It's all my fault." ..News Source.. by

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