A convicted child rapist lost his bid for a new trial Wednesday when District Court Judge Russell Fagg rejected arguments that the Yellowstone County Public Defenders Office bungled his case.
Alan Genung, 56, of Billings, filed a complaint against the public defenders office following his conviction in March on a charge of sexual intercourse without consent. Genung was convicted by a jury of raping a young boy on June 14, 2000, and is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 14.
Genung complained it took seven weeks after he was arraigned before a public defender visited him in the county jail, that his case was then handled by several different attorneys, and that the two public defenders who eventually represented him were not involved in his case until four days before the trial began.
Genung also complained that Chief Public Defender Sandy Selvey, who took over his case at one point, twice helped prosecutors fortify their case against him.
Hes supposed to be my attorney, Genung testified at the hearing. Hes supposed to be working for me and here he is telling the prosecution what to do.
Selvey testified that the two complaints directed at him by Genung were not directly related to his case. In one instance, Selvey said he was talking to Deputy County Attorney Melodee Hanes about an unrelated case and it was only a coincidence that she later amended the charges against Genung.
Hanes didnt testify at the hearing, but told Fagg it was her decision to amend the charges against Genung, and Selvey had no role in that process.
Genung also said Selvey hurt his chances at a possible appeal when Selvey convinced Hanes not to attempt to bring in evidence of Genungs prior conviction in California for sexually assaulting another child. Selvey said the law is clear that the prior conviction was not proper evidence and would have been the death knell for Genung at trial.
Hanes agreed that although the evidence of Genungs prior conviction could have bolstered her case, state law excludes such evidence at criminal trials.
Selvey said it was unfortunate that it took seven weeks for an attorney in his office to see Genung after he was arraigned. But Selvey said that attorney no longer works as a public defender in his office. Selvey said he personally took over the case to give Genung the best chance at building a defense.
As other cases demanded his attention, Selvey said he asked Ben Reed of his office to take over Genungs case about a month before the trial. He then asked his chief deputy public defender, Roberta Drew, to join the case about a week before trial. All the attorneys spent weeks together as a team preparing Genungs defense, Selvey said.
In rejecting Genungs complaint, Fagg said it was clear the public defenders worked hard on his case prior to trial once Selvey got directly involved. By the time the case went to trial, Genungs public defenders were up to speed and effective, Fagg said.
Also in District Court Wednesday, a Billings man convicted three years ago of hitting two children with spoons when they refused to suck his toes was back in court for violating probation.
David Dean Arredondo, 38, was sentenced to 10 years probation in April, 1998, after pleading guilty to felony intimidation and assault. Prosecutors said Wednesday he violated probation by being terminated from sex offender treatment, failing to pay fines and drinking alcohol.
Judge Diane Barz revoked Arredondos previous sentenced and resentenced him to five years in prison with two years suspended. Arredondo may still be eligible for community placement in a treatment center.
In other cases, a Billings woman arrested in November while driving drunk with her 8-year-old son in the car was given a 2-year suspended prison sentence.
Lynette Rae Linsey, 32, previously pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal endangerment for having her son with her as she drove a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of 0.31 percent, more than three times the state legal limit.
Barz agreed to the suspended sentence because Linsey has no prior felony convictions.
A Billings man pleaded not guilty to felony sexual intercourse without consent.
Joel H. Stone, 32, was ordered held on $30,000 bond. Prosecutors allege Stone raped a female acquaintance on July 21.
The woman told police Stone had recently done some work on her home and he showed up at her door around midnight asking for a drink and an ashtray. She said Stone raped her after he entered her home.
Greg Tuttle can be reached at 657-1320 or at firstname.lastname@example.org