A Tacoma man who raped his 10 year-old neighbor was sentenced Friday to more than seven years in prison.
Dickie Bergeson, 63, pleaded guilty earlier this year to first-degree child rape.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge James Orlando sentenced him to 7 1/2 years behind bars, the low end of the sentencing range. Then the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board will decide when, or if, Bergeson is released.
That means he potentially could serve the rest of his life behind bars.
Prosecutors said Bergeson motioned for the boy to come into his garage as the boy rode his bike past on Aug. 5, 2014. Bergeson demanded to have sex, threatened the boy and performed oral sex on him, according to charging papers.
The boy wrote the court that he’s had trouble with grades and behavior in school since the assault.
“I hope that the person who did this to me gets to stay in jail for what he did and does not get let out,” his letter read. “I don’t want any other kids to have this happen to them.”
Orlando denied Bergeson a Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative requested by defense attorney Barbara Corey. That would have allowed Bergeson to serve some or all of his sentence out of custody as he did a sexual-deviancy treatment program.
Corey wrote in a sentencing memorandum that Bergeson has an IQ of between 69 and 72, and spent weeks in a coma after a childhood car wreck.
“Dickie’s experience in the world is that people reject and do not respect him as a person,” she wrote.
The memorandum also said Bergeson has had health issues in the jail for which he has failed to seek treatment or follow through with it.
And after a News Tribune story about Bergeson’s plea to the child rape charge, he’s been threatened by other inmates, Corey wrote.
Asked about his assets, she wrote, he said he had: “half a cat,” because he and his aunt own the pet together.