Child abuser sentenced Wednesday to 13 years for "heinous" crime

Nov 9, 2017

Caylen P. Kalmakoff, 23, was given more than the presumptive range for abusing a young child in 2015. Judge Gregory Miller handed down the sentence after a hearing in Naknek Wednesday. 

Caylen Peyton Kalmakoff will spend all of his twenties in state prison. The 23-year-old has been in custody since his June, 2015 arrest, and Judge Gregory Miller sentenced him to 13 years of active jail time Wednesday.

Kalmakoff sexually abused a child under the age of 10. The crime occurred in a Chignik community in the summer of 2015, and state troopers finished an investigation within weeks. Troopers monitored a phone call with a family member of the victim where Kalmakoff admitted to the abuse, and he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge last May.

On Wednesday there was no dispute about the horrible nature of what Kalmakoff did to the young child.

“In the scheme of sex crimes, it doesn’t get much more heinous than that,” said Judge Miller.

A grand jury indicted Kalmakoff on a charge of first degree sexual abuse a minor, which carries a maximum sentence of 99 years in jail. He took a plea deal to second degree sexual abuse of a minor, though the state still sought the presumptive 25-35 year sentence attached to the higher charge.

Assistant district attorney James Klugman prosecuted the case.

“When you look at the circumstances of what happened in the context of sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual violence in Alaska generally and rural Alaska in particular, the sentence that’s being requested by the defense I think unacceptably minimizes the seriousness of the offense and the harm,” he said.

Attorney Chris Lesch with the Public Defenders Agency recommended a sentence of 15 years with 10 suspended, leaving five to serve for his client. He said this would offer an appropriate amount of time for Kalmakoff to complete meaningful treatment in prison so he does not re-offend after his release.

Clinical and forensic psychologist Dr. Bruce Smith was asked to testify about Kalmakoff’s potential for rehabilitation, and about the young man’s understanding of his own actions.

“The thinking process for Mr. Kalmakoff, and my findings to that point, were that he’s very immature in his perspective on life. He presents a victim stance in his thinking, and this, combined with his lack of adequate social skills for addressing his needs for companionship and sexual release, were likely twin factors that drove his offending behavior,” he said.

A member of the victim’s family admittedly struggled for words as he asked the judge for a long jail sentence and that Kalmakoff never be allowed contact with the victim again.

The hearing last more than an hour and a half Wednesday. Judge Miller acknowledged that Kalmakoff said he himself had been a victim of sexual abuse at a young age. But Miller also leaned on some of Kalmakoff’s arguably disturbing statements in the recent psychological evaluations and the presentence report as he offered his opinion that the young man was not ready for a safe return to society.

“Just warehousing someone doesn’t work to help the offender or the public. Nonetheless, I have few assurances in anything presented here today that you’re not a risk to reoffending.”

In crafting his sentence, Miller focused in part on sending a message to the community that state authorities, including the legislature and courts, strongly condemn this type of sexual violence.

“I’m going to sentence you above the max,” he said, which he could do because of the aggravated nature of the crime. “I’m going to give you 17 years, four of those years are suspended, leaving 13 years to serve. That’s at the high end of this range, the very high end of the presumptive range.”

When he is released in about a decade, Kalmakoff will spend 7 years on probation and will be required to register as a sex offender for the next 15 years.

dave@kdlg.org or 907.842.5281