“He can never again walk freely, because when he’s 80, he can still do the sexual assaults he’s done here,” Rainville said. “The only way to keep children safe is for him to be in prison for the rest of his life.”
A man accused of numerous sex crimes was sentenced in Bennington District Court on Thursday to 40 years to life in prison.
Charles Mould, 60, of Pleasant Street pleaded guilty in November 2008 to 21 sex crimes, among them multiple sexual assault charges, multiple lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor charges and a count of presenting indecent material to a minor.
Deputy State’s Attorney Tina Rainville said the state was seeking a life sentence. “He can never again walk freely, because when he’s 80, he can still do the sexual assaults he’s done here,” Rainville said. “The only way to keep children safe is for him to be in prison for the rest of his life.”
A victim from one of Mould’s previous sex crime convictions testified about the effect it had on his life. “I felt no self-worth. I felt as if I had lost my soul,” the man said. “I’d like to see that no other child gets touched by him again.”
The mother of one of the victims testified, expressing deep anger toward Mould. “You have damaged, tormented and violated those kids,” she said. “I can tell you my son has gone from a free-spirited, outgoing young man to an angry, angry boy.”
She said her son had to deal with issues no child should. “I hope they impose a sentence where you can never walk out of a facility again,” the mother said. “It’s now my goal in life to stop you and others like you, and make sure there are harsher sentences the first time. You shouldn’t have walked out the first time.”
Department of Corrections Officer Michael Doheny testified about the presentence investigation he had conducted on Mould. “It was striking to me that he uses pornography to lure his victims — both his cases have the same thing,” Doheny said. “He takes kids in dysfunctional situations and preys on them.”
Doheny said Mould had completed two courses of sex offender treatment before the incident charged here. “We’re recommending a minimum sentence of 80 years, because we felt we should recommend a sentence where he doesn’t come back out in to the community,” Doheny said. “Even if he’s in the community on supervision, we can’t prevent this from happening.”
Defense attorney Christopher Montgomery said his client had freely admitted his crimes, ensuring the children would not have to go through the often painful processes of depositions and testifying. He said he was seeking a 20-year sentence for Mould.
“I’m asking for it in the hope there might be some small window where he might find redemption,” Montgomery said. “This is a man who has struggled with pedophilia.”
Mould expressed remorse in his statements to the court. “I just wish to say I’m very sorry for what I did,” Mould said. “I can’t bring back what I did, and I’m very sorry I hurt them real bad.”
Judge John Wesley said he wished to impose a strict sentence. “This court tries its utmost to give its proper due to rehabilitation, but I do not believe you are capable of rehabiliation,” Wesley said. “What is indisputable is, after you completed sex offender treatment and were unsupervised within our community, within a short time you re-offended prolifically.”
Wesley said he was not certain whether Mould’s remorse was genuine. “Most of your responses (in the presentence investigation) indicate a belief there was not much wrong with what you did,” Wesley said. “We need to put you in prison for the rest of your life to ensure you are incapable of acting on your impulses regarding children.”
Charges against Mould, a registered sex offender, involve sexual conduct with four juveniles, two 11-year-olds, a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old, all of whom frequented his apartment in Bennington.
Bennington Police Detective Lawrence Cole said Mould is listed on the Vermont Sex Offender Registry Web site as a noncompliant offender, meaning that he had not complied with offender treatment requirements.