Judge breaks with plea deal, sends man to prison for assault on teenage girlThe judge alluded to George Bamsey’s rough childhood, referencing instances of physical abuse and rape, but also noted this is Bamsey’s fifth felony conviction.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
A Mitchell man has been sentenced to more than one year in prison for attacking a 17-year-old girl last August in Mount Vernon.
George Bamsey, 27, was sentenced Monday to five years in prison with three-and-a-half years suspended for aggravated assault. He pleaded no contest to the charge on Dec. 11.
Standing a few feet in front of Judge Tim Bjorkman at the Davison County Public Safety Center, Bamsey looked down and shook his head as his sentence was given.
“I’m begging you to reconsider because, honestly, I’m not a bad person,” Bamsey said, pleading with Bjorkman after the sentence was pronounced. “I need help.”
Bamsey argued the sentence was unfair because he has taken responsibility for his actions, and has a full-time job at Performance Pet Products in Mitchell, and plans to continue schooling at Mitchell Technical Institute.
“I want to prove to you that I can be a viable citizen,” he said, addressing Bjorkman. “I feel I’ve done that.”
In his sentencing, Bjorkman alluded to Bamsey’s rough childhood, referencing instances of physical abuse and rape, but also noted this is Bamsey’s fifth felony conviction.
“I understand your life story from what you’ve explained,” Bjorkman said. “But ultimately I have to be responsible not just for your rehabilitation but for public safety.”
Bamsey was arrested Aug. 12. According to court documents, the 17-year-old victim told a Davison County deputy she was with a friend, Bamsey’s girlfriend, at another home in Mount Vernon when Bamsey attacked her for no apparent reason.
She ran away, but Bamsey caught her and threw her against a tree, then began choking her. The girl told the deputy she hit Bamsey as she tried to get away and he threatened to punch her, but then stopped and told her that he loved her. Bamsey and the victim had only known each other for two days and were not in a relationship, court documents say.
The girl had a large scrape on her left elbow, a 5-inch abrasion on her right arm, cuts on her right leg and marks on her neck and around her right eye, court documents say.
Bamsey admitted in court Monday he was too drunk to recall his actions.
By sending Bamsey to prison, Bjorkman exercised his prerogative to stray from a plea agreement through which prosecutors dismissed two additional charges and recommended Bamsey receive a suspended five-year prison term and be put on probation.
“I think we can place him on a very short leash and give him some strict requirements,” said Donna Bucher, Bamsey’s court-appointed attorney, prior to sentencing.
Bucher also addressed an incident in which Bamsey was kicked out of a treatment program at Stepping Stones, saying Bamsey has a good explanation and believes he was “treated unfairly.”
Davison County State’s Attorney Jim Miskimins stuck to the plea agreement and recommended Bamsey receive a suspended prison term.
Bamsey needs to make a serious effort to deal with his alcohol addiction and anger issues, Miskimins said.
“I think Mr. Bamsey is at a point in his life where he needs to undertake a crusade,” he said.
In his own statement to the court prior to sentencing, Bamsey said he feels “100 percent responsible” for his actions.
“I’m tired. I’m fed up with what I’ve put other people through as well as myself,” he said. “I’ve lost more than I’ve ever gained in my life.”
There was a brief recess once Bamsey and both lawyers finished their statements, after which Bjorkman gave the sentence.
Bamsey was given credit for 65 days served and immediately remanded to the custody of the Davison County Sheriff’s Office for transport to prison.