North Dakota Man Sentenced to Prison for Trying to Rape 3-Year-Old in His Care

A man has been sentenced to prison for trying to rape a 3-year-old girl.

Patrick Leno was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison with all but eight suspended. Judge Robert Wefald also ordered him to serve 3 1/2 more years for child abuse and neglect.

Prosecutors said Leno, 26, had a 2002 conviction in Cass County for indecent exposure. He was charged in August with gross sexual imposition while baby-sitting a 3-year-old girl.

In November, Leno pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted gross sexual imposition. In court, prosecutor Julie Lawyer said Leno had told other inmates he tried to rape the child before he had second thoughts and stopped. The conversations were recorded, Lawyer said.

The child abuse and neglect charge stemmed from an earlier incident involving sexual misconduct with two children.

Leno's attorneys, Robert Bolinski, Jr., and Todd Schwarz, said Leno needs sex offender treatment. Bolinski said the incidents were " cries for help," and said Leno cooperated with authorities.

"I agree with both of my lawyers. I do need help," Leno said.