Late Thursday, a Fairbanks Superior Court judge ordered a 58 year old convicted child rapist to a term that insures he most likely will die in prison.
During scheduled hearings, Arthur Augustine was sentenced to four consecutive life prison terms, totaling 396 years in jail, for sexually abusing two young family members in 2012.
Fairbanks Assistant District Attorney Gayle Garrigues says the sentence hopefully sends a message.
"It certainly was a sentence that will protect the public from this individual," said Garrigues. "But it's also somewhat saddening because it destroyed a family, but at least he won't
be around to destroy any more of the family."
In January of this year, after a week-long trial, it took a jury of seven men and five women less than a day to return guilty verdicts against Augustine, convicting him on two counts of First
Degree Sexual Abuse of a Minor, and two counts of Child Sex Abuse in the Second Degree.
As part of the penalty phase, Superior Court Judge Michael McConahy sentenced Augustine to the maximum 99 years in jail on each count.
Authorities say the abuse took place between January 2011 and February 2012, and was reported to a school counselor.
During the trial, jurors saw video of the victims being interviewed about the abuse.
While making sentencing comments on Thursday, Augustine's attorney, Frank Spaulding, says police asked the children improper questions designed to incriminate
He also called the verdicts and subsequent sentence a "miscarriage of justice."
He says his client would appeal the case.
Given time to address McConahy, Augustine says he was "wrongfully convicted."
"Those are my grandchildren," said Augustine. "I would never hurt them."
But the veteran trial judge says Augustine's conduct, and prior child sex abuse convictions from the early 1980's, could not be overlooked.
"The State of Alaska takes this very seriously," said McConahy.
"The (Alaska) Legislature was trying to send a message when they modified sentencing laws about six or seven years ago," said Garrigues.
"And they basically said after you've done this a couple times...we need to just lock you up."