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Man gets 10 years in prison for child injury

by KAYE THORNBRUGH
Staff Writer | July 6, 2024 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — A man will spend up to a decade in prison after pleading guilty to “having sexual intercourse” with minor girls.

Donovan K. Hoffman, 21, pleaded guilty in April to two counts of injury to a child, both felonies, “by having sexual intercourse” with two different girls, aged 13 and 14, when he was 19 years old, according to court records. 

A grand jury indicted Hoffman last September on charges of delivery of a controlled substance, two counts of sexual abuse of a child and three counts of lewd conduct with a child under the age of 16, all felonies. 

In exchange for Hoffman’s guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed the original charges. 

First District Judge Barbara Duggan sentenced Hoffman this week to 10 years in prison, the maximum possible sentence, with four years fixed and 278 days credit for time served. That means Hoffman will be eligible for parole in about four years. 

Before handing down the sentence, Duggan said she had weighed Hoffman’s age, as well his own history of trauma, substance abuse problems and mental illness, against the “underlying sexual criminality” of his actions and the “above average” risk he poses to society. Neither probation nor retained jurisdiction were appropriate in this case, she said. 

“It is clear that you’re immature and still are,” Duggan said. “There is a lot going on with you, Mr. Hoffman. I am meeting in the middle on this sentence. The fixed term will take you to age 25, fully able to engage in the programming available to you prior to release.” 

Prosecutors said Hoffman had sexually abused one of the girls years earlier, when he was a minor. Hoffman pleaded guilty to injury to a child, according to court records, and underwent sex offender treatment while on probation. 

The court ruled that information about the “prior act” between Hoffman and the girl would be inadmissible at trial, as it was “unduly prejudicial and would outweigh the probative value of the evidence.” 

Prosecutors asked the court to impose a 10-year sentence, with five years fixed, to reflect the seriousness of the crimes and Hoffman’s criminal history. 

“I don’t believe a fixed 10 years is appropriate,” prosecuting attorney Molly Nivison told the court. “Mr. Hoffman is young. The state is hopeful that he can make good of those years and turn his life around. He will get some treatment within the prison system.” 

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or sexual abuse, call Safe Passage Violence Prevention Center’s 24-hour helpline: 208-664-9303.