A 62-year-old Modesto man has been ordered to serve nine years in state prison for a yearlong sexual relationship with a Merced teenager.
Robert Dingman was sentenced Friday in Merced Superior Court by Judge Mark V. Bacciarini. Dingman must also register as a sex offender for life, according to Michael McKinney, the Merced County deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case.
Robert Dingman | MERCED COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
“After discussing it with the victim and her family, I think it’s an appropriate sentence, a fair outcome,” McKinney said Monday.
Dingman pleaded guilty on May 7 to a single felony count of forcible sodomy with a minor, according to court records.
Prosecutors dismissed the remaining charges against the 62-year-old Modesto resident in exchange for the plea.
Dingman’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
The victim, a 15-year-old girl, testified during a preliminary hearing in March, describing a yearlong relationship with the older man that began on a sexual bondage website in 2013.
She said Dingman threatened her after she broke off their relationship more than a year later. He told her he would assault her new boyfriend and would send her parents copies of nude photographs she had given Dingman, according to her testimony.
Court records show Dingman was arrested in Stanislaus County in 1997 on suspicion of annoying or molesting a child, but the charge was later reduced to making repeated annoying phone calls to a residence. He was sentenced to three years of probation.
Merced police Capt. Tom Trindad praised the investigation led by Detective Raquel Rios.
“Her ability to work with the victim, to gain the trust of the victim, is critically important in a case like this,” Trindad said. “She was also able to work to gather the appropriate evidence in the case to help put away a man who has absolutely no right to take advantage of a young person.”
|Chowchilla News Day
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