Former Scottsbluff High golf coach Mike Klein was sentenced this afternoon to 24 to 32 years in prison after he entered no contest pleas last month to four counts of first degree sexual assault of a minor. Judge Leo Dobrovolny sentenced Klein to consecutive 6-8 year sentences on each count. Klein is eligible for parole in 12 years with good time.
The 62 year old Mitchell man had faced 20 charges, including 15 felonies in the initial complaint filed in January, but agreed to a plea bargain arrangement with the prosecution. Klein could have received up to to fifty years in prison on each of the four counts, which was what Scotts Bluff County Attorney Dave Eubanks recommended, citing the damage to the lives of the two victims and emphasizing any good in Klein’s life was “far outweighed by the bad.”
Defense Counsel Tylor Pettit asked for probation, citing the fact Klein had no priors and his accomplishments in the community and with other students.
But Judge Dobrovolny said the serious of the crimes did not warrant probation and indicated Klein had lured the victims into situations where he could sexually assault them from a position of power. Dobrovolny also said the high profile of the case did not impact his sentencing.
The charges were filed following a lengthy four month investigation by Scottsbluff Police, begun after one of the victims came forward due to the risk to other victims. The second victim was identified in the course of the investigation.