Hayden Lake man faces up to 30 years in prison for having sexual contact with a child over a 10-year period

<p><p>A Hayden Lake man will spend up to 30 years in prison for having sexual contact with a child for a decade, according to the Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. </p></p><p><p>Gerald C. Simmons was charged May 19 with lewd conduct with a minor under the age of 16, a felony. Prosecutors said Simmons pleaded guilty to the charge July 26, admitting that he engaged in sexual contact with a child between 2011 and May 2021.</p></p><p><p>Judge Scott Wayman sentenced Simmons last week to up to 30 years in prison, including a 15-year determinate sentence, according to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors said Wayman also authorized a no-contact order of protection for the victim effective over the next 15 years.</p></p><p><p>Simmons had no criminal history prior to this offense, prosecutors said Monday.</p></p><p><p>Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh said in a statement the prison term is appropriate “given the nature and long term commission of the crime.”</p></p><p><p>“These actions occurred over a long period of time, and will significantly impact the victim and her family forever,” McHugh wrote. “Mr. Simmons is highly intelligent and had been a productive member of society for years, making it even harder to explain why he felt his conduct was appropriate.”</p></p>