Michael Lindel Acosta was sentenced to one year in jail and 10 years of probation on a single charge of sexual conduct with a minor.
Also given one year in jail with three months deferred pending compliance and review hearing
By Jon Johnson
GREENLEE COUNTY – A Duncan thrift store owner who pleaded guilty to sexual conduct with a minor may be out of jail by May if he complies with treatment but he won’t be allowed to access the Internet.
Michael Lindel Acosta, 66, of Duncan, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual conduct with a minor – a Class-6 felony – in Greenlee Superior Court on Wednesday, Jan. 29 and was sentenced to 10 years on probation with sex offender terms. During sentencing, Acosta spoke on his own behalf and expressed remorse for his actions.
Acosta was also given a sentence of one-year incarceration with credit for 181 days served. With an additional stipulation that allows for the last three months of his sentence to be deferred if he is compliant with his required treatment and it is approved during a review hearing, Acosta could be out of jail by May.
Acosta was originally charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual conduct with a minor and child sex trafficking, however, those charges were reduced to a single charge of sexual conduct with a minor in a plea agreement.
The charges stem from an incident that took place at the Apache Grove Bar on Oct. 23, 2018, when Acosta reportedly committed sexual conduct with a then 17-year-old girl. After interviews, a lengthy investigation, and the result of DNA evidence from the Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Lab, the Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Acosta on Aug. 12, 2019.
According to the plea agreement, Acosta could have received up to 1.5 years in prison, however, he would not have had any followup after his release. By sentencing the way he did, Graham County Superior Court Judge Michael D. Peterson both allowed for Acosta to be rehabilitated while giving him nearly as much time of incarceration and providing a mode of keeping Acosta looked after upon release by placing him on probation for 10 years.
Acosta was represented by Channen Day and the prosecution for the state was done by Greenlee County Attorney Jeremy Ford.