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Decker sentenced to prison time in continuous sexual abuse of a child case

A Dickinson man who pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of sexual assault related charges involving children was sentenced to 25 years in prison during a sentencing hearing on Monday morning by Southwest District Judge Dan Greenwood.

2499271+0105 Greg Decker.jpg
Greg Decker

A Dickinson man who pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of sexual assault related charges involving children was sentenced to 25 years in prison during a sentencing hearing on Monday morning by Southwest District Judge Dan Greenwood.

Gregory Paul Decker, 53 of Dickinson, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, with 10 years suspended, for Class AA felony continuous sexual abuse of a child after he pleaded guilty to the charge in August.

He was also sentenced to 20 years in prison, with five years suspended, for Class A felony gross sexual imposition.

The sentences will run concurrently and Decker will receive credit for time served.

Decker is accused of inappropriately touching multiple juvenile girls under the age of 15 between 1997 and 2015.

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Dr. Shannon Weisz, a psychologist from Bismarck, testified during the sentencing hearing that, according to several tests administered by Weisz and Badlands Human Service Center on Decker, it was believed that he would be a "low-risk" for recidivism due to his age and other personality factors involved.

He mentioned that Decker did not seem to be a sexual predator, at least according to the testing that was completed in March.

"In this particular case I think probably he saw a means to be able to get away with it," Weisz said. "It was an opportunity."

James Hope, assistant state's attorney, said Decker has been accused of similar offenses in the past and had concerns that he may act again.

"We have a known history of Mr. Decker's conduct," Hope said. "... The state would argue that Mr. Decker's history was a better predictor than these particular tools."

Greenwood said it was one of the toughest decisions he had to make due to the many factors and options at hand.

"This is one of the most difficult cases that I have had to weigh and make a decision about," Greenwood said. "I'll assure you that no part of this was easy. ... I can't possibly satisfy all of the different interests that are involved."

Decker was arrested on Jan. 1 following a fight at his home. He had been confronted about the alleged abuse of a 6-year-old girl and was then punched in the face by a man who was not identified by the court.
After being treated by doctors at CHI St. Joseph's Health, Decker was released to police, who then began to question him about the incident.
A video of the questioning, which was shown in court in June, shows Decker admitting to the allegations without prompting and within minutes of being interviewed by Dickinson Police Cpl. Brandon Stockie. According to court documents, Decker allegedly touched the girl on her private areas "five or six" times during 2015.
In July, one of Decker's other alleged victims of childhood sexual abuse testified against him. The female relative, who is now 25, answered questions relating to the alleged molestation that occurred in her home when she was around 6 years old, in 1997.
She stated in court testimony that the abuse ended after she told her mother about the molestation, which she alleged happened about 10 different times, and was later told by her mother that the family had "dealt with" the issue.

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After Decker has served his sentence, he will go on supervised probation and must register as a sex offender and may not contact the victims. He must also seek treatment while in prison.

Related Topics: DICKINSONCRIME
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