A Palmerton man, formerly of Albrightsville, was sentenced to a state prison on Thursday after previously admitting he sexually assaulted a young boy.

Mark Fenimore, 47, was sentenced by Senior Judge Richard W. Webb to serve three to six years on two counts of statutory sexual assault and one count of indecent assault.

Fenimore was charged by Franklin Township police with sexually assaulting a then 10-year-old boy at a residence in the township in 2005. He was arrested in 2006 entered a guilty plea on Monday, Sept. 14, 2009. The case was delayed several times due to health issues for the defendant.

Police received a report from the victim's mother that her son said that Fenimore had sexual contact with him on more than one occasion. A few days before he was scheduled to go on trial he entered a plea bargain with the district attorney's office. In the agreement 12 other sexual related charges were dropped.

Fenimore, at the advise of defense Atty. George Dydynsky, did not address the court. He only said, "I will say I'm sorry."

Dydynsky said his client was not a predator but has been declared a sexual violent predator by Webb. Webb held a hearing on the matter several weeks ago and ruled that Fenimore fell under the guidelines of a sexual violent predator as defined by Megan's Law.

Webb said he received several letters from friends and family of Fenimore in support of him and stating he was not a bad person.

A relative of the victim, who is now 15, said the experience has caused the boy to have mental health problems and he is receiving counseling. She said that Fenimore "ruined his life."

Webb said that such cases ruins two families.

On the two counts of statutory sexual assault Webb imposed a prison terms of 14 to 28 months, with them running consecutively. On the indecent assault count a term of eight to 16 months was imposed and consecutive to the other two counts for the total of three to six years. The prison term is followed by two years of state probation, Webb ruled.

Fenimore must also register with the state police for the rest of his life as a sexual offender and must follow all provisions including registering where he lives and works and that the state police would notify area schools, day care centers and residents of his conviction and his residence.

Webb also ordered Fenimore to supply a DNA sample, get a mental health evaluation, have no contact with the victim, have no contact with children unless supervised, and submit to a sexual offenders evaluation.

The prison term began immediately.