Manson sex offender denied rehabilitative sentencing

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Chelan County Courthouse

WENATCHEE — A Chelan County judge said Monday an 80-year-old child molester is not entitled to the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative — an option that allows shorter prison terms plus therapeutic treatment.

Michael Sutcliffe Detering of Manson admitted to sexually abusing a girl
starting in 1999, when she was just 8 years old. A jury convicted him two
months ago on single counts of first-degree child rape and child molestation; Detering was initially charged with two counts of each offense.

Detering’s attorney, Tony DiTommaso, asked for the SSOSA option, but a
required therapeutic assessment was incomplete by Monday’s sentencing hearing. Deputy prosecutor Nicole Hankins opposed the measure, and the victim, now an adult, said she would not be able to attend the sentencing if it were rescheduled.

Superior Court Judge Lesley Allan ruled the sentencing would go forward later this afternoon, with SSOSA off the table. Hankins is seeking a sentence of at least 15 years; a SSOSA sentence might have freed Detering after about a year.

“What’s happening today is completely unfair to Mr. Detering,” DiTommaso told Allan in the courtroom. She scheduled sentencing for 3 p.m. today.

Detering sexually molested and assaulted the victim over a period of years beginning in 1999, when she was 8 years old. She and her family resided on Detering’s property on Lower Joe Creek Road outside Manson at the time.

Interviewed by sheriff’s deputies in May 2018, Detering said he touched the child in “all the wrong places.” He did not testify in his own trial, which took three days.