MOORHEAD - A Moorhead woman was sentenced in Clay County District Court on Thursday, March 23, to 12 years in prison for sexual contact with a 7-year-old child.
Arpolia V. Brown-Navarrete, 42, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Following a plea agreement, Judge Michelle Lawson handed Brown-Navarrete a guideline sentence based on the charge Brown-Navarrete pleaded guilty to and her criminal history score. With good behavior, she could be released after serving eight years.
She could then serve the remaining four years of her sentence on supervised release, during which she could be sent back to prison if she gets into trouble.
Following her prison sentence, she'll be on conditional release for 10 years.
Still, prosecutor Pam Harris expressed worry that the sentence was insufficient in convincing Brown-Navarrete that what she did was wrong.
"She (Brown-Navarrete) continues to blame a 7-year-old child for this. I don't think the 144 months is enough for her," Harris told the court.
Defense attorney Mara Rausch noted it was Brown-Navarrete's first conviction "for an offense of this type."
According to court documents, Moorhead police were contacted by a woman last June who said that her 7-year-old child had reported being touched sexually by a neighbor, identified in the court documents as Brown-Navarrete.
Investigators interviewed the child, who told them Brown-Navarrete frequently spent time with the child and did "gross things."
When investigators questioned Brown-Navarrete, she admitted performing sexual acts on the child.
Brown-Navarrete spoke briefly during her sentencing, stating she was sorry and didn't mean "for any of this to happen."
In addition to the prison time, she was ordered to pay $135 in fees and given credit for having already served 291 days.