Man with ties to the Ku Klux Klan is sentenced for sex crime

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Jul. 6, 2017 at 7:15 PM CDT
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A man with ties to the Ku Klux Klan in Dale County was sentenced today for a sex crime against his ex-girlfriend. Steven Dinkle was convicted of sexually assaulting the woman on video while she was incapacitated by medication.

It was in Judge William Fillmore’s courtroom that Dinkle was sentenced to 10 years, to run consecutive for sexually abusing his ex-girlfriend. The 10 years is the maximum penalty that’s carried with the class c felony. It’s a ruling district attorney Kirke Adams was pleased with.

"The state is very thankful that the judge saw fit to give him 10 years and make it consecutive in his currently federal sentence", said Adams.

"This was punished at the top of that range. 10 years and so yes, we believe it was very harsh but again the court has its job and we have ours and he's doing what he's sworn to do", said David Harrison, Defense Attorney for Dinkle.

In 2014 Dinkle received two years in prison for a hate crime and obstruction of justice. The hate crime included the burning of a six foot cross in a predominantly black neighborhood in the area. He received two years but was let out in May of 2015. Later that year Dinkle was sentenced to an additional fifteen months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

"None of those crimes count towards enhancement because they're not felonies in the state of Alabama, so he was subject only to the 1 to 10", said the District Attorney.

As the proceedings got underway both the district attorney and the defense attorney would plead to judge Filmore. Harrison would ask for a probation hearing and a more lenient sentence, but would be denied on both fronts. Harrison said his client has maintained his innocence. During the trial, Dinkle did not take the stand and did not testify.

"My client has stead fastly, denies he did anything wrong. He believes it a situation where an ex-fiancé got very angry at him”, said Harrison.

"What he was convicted of is just very offensive and I really felt bad for our victim in this case, that she not only had to go through this but had to go through a trial and we had to report to the jury via video what happened in this case and for her sake I’m glad it's over", said Adams.

Dinkle and his attorney plan to file an appeal.