By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma family can now move on knowing a convicted child molester is behind bars.
Claude Fontenot, 58, was sentenced almost two months ago for sexually abusing his granddaughters, but he never spent a day in prison. Fontenot was sentenced to three years at a metro half-way house where he was allowed to come and go. But the family of the abused girls fought to change that decision after the court overlooked a major detail.
On the day of the hearing, Kristi Allen, the mother of the sexually abused girls was nervous. She knew she would have to see her father Claude Fontenot.
"It's torn the family apart. My children have been devastated. I have been devastated. This is something a mother never wants to hear," Allen said.
She was also devastated when she learned her father would serve time at Avalon's Carver Center in southwest Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma County District Attorney's office didn't think the punishment fit the crime.
"After the sentencing, it came to our attention that the facility, the Avalon facility, was too close to a park," Oklahoma County Asst. District Attorney Jimmy Harmon said.
It's against the law for sex offenders to live near a park or a school. This baseball field is only blocks from Avalon. Allen worried her father's placement would put others in danger.
With the new information, the judge reconsidered the original decision and ruled Fontenot serve his sentence in prison.
"Hopefully this will make things better. We can close the book and move on with our lives," Allen said.
There was discussion about sending Fontenot to another Avalon center in Tulsa, but that center is also near a park. Fontenot's attorney will appeal the decision, and they'll likely have a ruling in 30 days.
Fontenot was transported to the Oklahoma County jail, to serve a three year sentence with 17 years probation.