Sex offender gets 18 months for failing to register

A Seattle man was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Anchorage for failing to register as a sex offender on several occasions, including a period when he lived in Juneau.

Sterling Bolima, 43, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess to 18 months in prison, to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release.

Bolima was convicted in 1998 for sexual abuse of a minor. According to a Juneau Empire article at the time, Bolima was 24 and was having sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl, who became pregnant.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks had sentenced Bolima to three years in prison and suspended all but nine months, with five years’ probation.

As a result of this conviction, the defendant was required to register as a sex offender in Alaska and any other location in which he lived, worked, or attended school. Between 1998 and 2011, while living in Juneau and Nome, the defendant failed to register on three separate occasions. In 2012, Bolima flew to Seattle and took up residence in Washington. The defendant failed to update Alaskan authorities with his new address, nor did he register with Washington officials upon his arrival. The defendant lived in an unregistered status until August 2016, when he was indicted by a federal grand jury and arrested by U.S. Marshals.

In pronouncing his sentence, Burgess sought to “make sure Mr. Bolima understands what he has to do as far as registration goes. And to understand that there are serious consequences if he doesn’t.” Burgess warned the defendant about the failure to register in the future, telling him, “If you don’t, you’re going to spend a lot more time in jail.”

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