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Man sentenced to 18 years on child molestation charges

WAKEFIELD — An incarcerated former North Kingstown man who pleaded no contest to three counts of first-degree child molestation and one count of second-degree child molestation in 2012 at a Hope Valley campground has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Ronald W. Sanford, 40, who has been at the Adult Correctional Institutions since his arrest in January 2013, was sentenced by Judge Melanie Thunberg last month in Washington County Superior Court. Sanford was initially charged by Hopkinton police with four counts of first-degree child molestation and five counts of second-degree child molestation

Hopkinton police determined the incidents with a boy occurred between April 2010 and June 2011. In 2012, North Kingstown police received a complaint from the boy who reported that his foster father’s friend, Sanford, had molested him during a two-year period.

The boy told Hopkinton police he had been “sexually molested on several occasions by his foster father (now deceased) and his roommate, Ronald Sanford, beginning in the spring/summer of 2010 through the summer of 2011 when he was removed by the Department of Children, Youth and Families. The victim told police the abuse began at age 12 when he entered Sanford’s camper at the Whispering Pines campground and told him he was ‘gay.’ He claimed that within a few days of that meeting, the ‘inappropriate’ acts began.”

In exchange for Sanford’s guilty plea, one charge of first-degree molestation and three charges of second-degree child molestation were dismissed. He was ordered to have no contact with the child.

On the three counts of first-degree child molestation, Sanford was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 18 to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended with probation.

On the one count of second-degree child molestation, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with 18 to serve and the balance suspended with probation. The terms will run concurrently.

He received a 22-year suspended sentence, with 22 years of probation, on each of the first-degree molestation convictions and was ordered to register as a sex offender, seek counseling and pay court costs.

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