Former Utah Highway Patrolman Ernest Wilcock - incarcerated for a year after admitting he tried to sexually abuse a woman - will stay behind bars until March 12, 1992.

The state Board of Pardons Friday denied Wilcock's appeal to "let me be, go home and get on with my life."Board member Gary Webster told a contrite Wilcock that the stiff sentence is justified by the nature of the crimes and the fact Wilcock committed them while holding the trusted position of police officer.

Wilcock was sentenced May 26, 1987, to serve zero to five years for his guilty plea to forcible sexual abuse, a third-degree felony, in connection with a Feb. 8, 1987, incident involving a 20-year-old Holladay woman.

The woman, whom Wilcock had picked up on a downtown street and offered a ride home, fled in Wilcock's patrol car after he tried to sexually abuse her. Wilcock, who was in full Highway Patrol uniform, then fired 13 shots at the fleeing vehicle but missed.

Detectives later learned that Wilcock could be responsible for a number of other similar sexual assaults and charged him with two counts of rape, two counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of aggravated assault.

Those charges were dismissed in exchange for Wilcock's guilty plea to the lesser offense.

"I do believe a public servant has a greater trust," Wilcock told the board, sobbing occasionally. "I feel I should still be treated as an equal . . . like everyone else. I feel I should be punished. I have been punished quite a bit."

The former trooper said he doesn't believe he will offend again and said he is ready to get out of jail and begin his life again.

"I'd like the board to know I've done a lot of soul-searching."

He said he and his family are prepared to move to California and start again.

"I feel I'm ready to go on with my life. I would ask the board to find it in their hearts to let me go home."

But the board ordered him to serve almost four more years.

Board members Webster, Victoria Palacios and Paul Boyden asked Wilcock pointed questions about his actions, but Wilcock offered little explanation other than to say he was emotionally and mentally "out of control."

"You fired 13 shots at that woman . . . why did you choose to use a firearm?" asked Webster.

Wilcock had no explanation, although in court his attorney argued it was to disable the car the young woman was fleeing in.

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"I'm not sure what I was doing," the former trooper said.

The board also asked him if he realized the harm his crimes caused to his victims and the Highway Patrol.

Wilcock said he did and wished he could change it.

"I'm sure it's caused (the victim in the Feb. 8, 1987, incident) a lot of pain and suffering," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if she has a lot of nightmares about it. I do."

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