A 50-year-old man facing multiple charges pleaded guilty Friday, Aug. 9, to one of them — a class A misdemeanor count of violating a sexual assault restraining order.
A class A misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure and two class A felony charges of gross sexual imposition are still pending against Theodore Slater Jr.
After a short hearing Friday, Northwest District Judge Kirsten Sjue sentenced Slater to 360 days in prison, with 165 days suspended and credit for 195 days time served. He will have to serve two years of unsupervised probation.
Slater is still being held on $20,000 bond on his three other charges.
Slater was arrested late last year after police said he sent a text message to a woman who had taken a sexual assault restraining order against Slater. The order barred him from contacting the woman or her young daughter.
Jeremy Curran, Slater’s lawyer, told Sjue that Slater had written the text message before the order was put in place and sent it inadvertently when he was trying to delete it.
“He acknowledges that this is sufficient to charge him with violation of a sexual assault restraining order, which is why he is pleading guilty,” Curran said.
But, he went on, it wasn’t intentional.
“It was entirely accidental that Ted sent it at all,” he said.
Curran said Slater was pleaded guilty because he understood he’d done something wrong by sending the message. He still denies the other charges, Curran said, and plans to fight them.
Michael Kuna, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, said the prosecution didn’t believe that the message was sent accidentally.
“The state believes this was a manipulation tactic,” Kuna said.
Both the defense and prosecution recommended sentencing Slater to time served, but they differed on whether he should be put on supervised probation.
Sjue said because Slater is still facing serious charges and has not been able to post bond, she wasn’t sure supervised probation was the correct choice.
“I’m just not persuaded supervised probation would add anything,” she said.
Slater is scheduled to go on trial in November on the other pending charges.