A Baldwin man will go to prison for groping a teenage girl while on probation for an earlier sex crime.
Nick F. Mathis, 35, pleaded no contest Tuesday to one count of misdemeanor sexual battery for inappropriately touching a 15-year-old female acquaintance in June 2005. As part of his plea, Mathis agreed to surrender his probation from the earlier case and serve 32 months in prison.
In the 2004 case, Mathis initially was charged with aggravated indecent liberties with a child. But the 9-year-old girl's family didn't oppose a plea agreement negotiated by then-Dist. Atty. Christine Kenney's office that reduced the charge to an "attempted" crime.
Under the terms of his resulting probation, Mathis was ordered to serve 60 days in jail and to enter a sex-offender treatment program. He had been on probation for about five months when the new charges arose.
The 15-year-old girl told police that on June 19, 2005, Mathis touched her inappropriately, then led her to a secluded area, exposed himself and suggested having more sexual contact.
Again, he was charged with aggravated indecent liberties with a child, a felony. But Dist. Atty. Charles Branson's office let him plead Tuesday to the misdemeanor sexual-battery charge - a plea Branson said was negotiated largely because of concern for the victim's well-being.
Mathis' attorneys sought to have a psychiatric evaluation for the 15-year-old girl after learning that she suffers from schizoaffective disorder and was taking mood stabilizers and sleeping pills at the time of the incident.
"We had the full support of the victim and her family in this decision," Branson said.
Mathis will be sentenced March 2. He faces up to a year in jail for sexual battery, but prosecutors are not opposing his request to serve that sentence while he's in prison for the probation violation.