A convicted child sex abuser who once slugged a U.S. Supreme Court justice to protest pornography is asking the state's highest court to declare his prison sentence excessive.
Newton Estes, sentenced to five years to life for fondling an 11-year-old girl, also asked the court Monday to decide whether the district court judge who sentenced him tampered with the transcripts of the trial.State prosecutors, however, argued that Estes is going about his appeals all wrong. Rather than filing motions directly with the state Supreme Court, Estes should first go to the trial court.
Estes, confined to a cell at the state prison, is acting as his own attorney in the case.
State Supreme Court justices accepted the motions, which were filed by Estes' wife, Sally, and will rule on them later.
One month ago, Estes filed a similar motion with the state Supreme Court asking that his sentence be stayed.
Estes believes he was improperly sentenced, that his right against self-incrimination was abused by prosecutors and the court and that he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge but was given the same punishment he would have gotten if convicted of the more serious complaint.
He also believes District Judge Douglas L Cornaby made statements in court about Estes' previous criminal record that were later deleted from transcripts of the trial.
Estes was charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl who worked in his home as a housekeeper. He was accused of showing her photographs of nude women and asking her to take off her clothes and assume poses similar to those of the models. He also was accused of taking off the girl's pants and fondling her.
He pleaded guilty in June to lesser charges of attempted forcible sexual abuse of a child and showing harmful material to a child.
In addition to the five-years-to-life sentence, Estes was sentenced to up to five years for showing the photographs to the girl.
At the time of sentencing, Estes reacted (NOTE: Story abruptly ended in newspaper)
angrily and said that he was tricked into pleading guilty to a lesser crime on the belief he would be given a lighter sentence.
He also contends Adult Probation and Parole officials made statements against him at sentencing, despite promises to the contrary.