Why do our courts even have sentencing guidelines?

Maybe its just me, but some of these sentences seem pretty slanted.  When one of our local dopers KILLED two county workers in 2012, she was sentenced for six years in jail.  KILL two people while doped up, six years.  I’m not advocating sex with a juvenile as highlighted in the case below, but six years in jail?  Isn’t KILLING people a tad more serious that molesting a child in your care?


by Lisa Rosemore Grand Rapids Herald-Review Jul 30, 2016 0
The woman who pleaded guilty to providing drugs and having sex with a juvenile she was supposed to be caring for at a Grand Rapids recovery facility has been sentenced to 72 months in prison.

Melanie Lynn Peterson 1280_1465999557570_3080917_ver1.0


Melanie Lynn Peterson, 30, of Grand Rapids appeared before Itasca County District Court Judge Korey Wahwassuck Tuesday morning. At that time, Wahwassuck formally accepted Peterson’s guilty pleas to an amended charge of felony third degree criminal sexual conduct, felony third degree controlled substance crime and felony depriving another of custodial or parental rights. Peterson pleaded guilty to the charges in June.

The other charges – two charges of felony first degree criminal sexual conduct, two charges of felony fourth degree controlled substance crime and one gross misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor – were dismissed.

Peterson was also ordered to supply a DNA sample, register as a predatory offender, pay $300 in fines and fees and be subject to 10 years conditional release after serving her prison sentence.

With good behavior, Peterson will serve 48 months in prison and 24 months under supervised release. She was also given 91 days credit for time already served in custody.

Peterson declined to speak at her sentencing.

At her plea hearing in June, Peterson said she was a housing supervisor at Northland Recovery Center and that the juvenile male, who was residing at the facility by court order, was 15 years old.

She helped him escape, they did drugs and had sex, Peterson told the court.

According to the complaint against Peterson, the juvenile was reported as a runaway early in the morning of April 26. Later that evening, the juvenile’s mother told an officer that on several occasions, her son had shown up at her apartment when he was supposed to be at the recovery facility. When she asked how he got out of the facility, he told his mother that he was having sex with one of the female staff members.

The juvenile later told authorities that he had been having a sexual relationship with Peterson since March 2016, the complaint stated.

Northland Counseling Center administration earlier confirmed that Peterson is no longer an employee of the facility.

After Peterson’s arrest on April 27, Northland Recovery Center also issued a statement to clients and the public in response to the charges against Peterson.

“Northland Adolescent Recovery Center has experienced a serious setback to their clients’ treatment progress and our reputation at the adolescent center,” the statement said. “Northland Recovery reported the information to law enforcement and has supported law enforcement in the investigation to the best of our ability. We also have notified The Minnesota Department of Human Services and followed their guidelines. We feel terrible about this situation and the impact it is having on our clients and their families. We will do everything we can to achieve the best outcome for our clients’ recovery.”

Peterson has been in custody since her arrest and is now currently at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee.

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