The last of 10 defendants charged with sexually abusing children within an Ogden polygamist group was sentenced Friday to serve 60 days in the Weber County Jail.
Rebecca Johnson, 44, was also placed on probation, ordered to undergo counseling, fined $740 and ordered to pay restitution. Last month, Johnson pleaded no contest to a second-degree felony charge of forcible sexual abuse. She was accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl within the group.In an impassioned plea Friday, defense attorney Brian Florence tried to convince 2nd District Judge Michael Lyon that his client should not be sent to jail, but instead be confined to her home. Florence said that Johnson underwent diagnostic testing that revealed his client was not sexually dysfunctional.
Johnson also told the judge that she committed no wrongdoing while she was involved with the group, and that she did not see any other member sexually abusing children.
Eleven members of the group known as "Sisters" were charged with numerous felonies after police raided their north Ogden neighborhood homes in August 1991. Of those, two received prison sentences, charges against one were dismissed and eight were given jail sentences and placed on probation. The harshest sentence was given to Arvin Shreeve, the group's leader.
Johnson said that she joined the group because the environment was a "happy and peaceful place to live." She said the society was not sexually oriented and a lot of mistruths and misinformation has been given to the public about the group's lifestyle.
The judge told Johnson that he was "perplexed and a little intrigued" that she refused to admit to any wrongdoing. He suspended a 15-year prison term, and told Johnson that she was going to jail because he had the responsibility to punish people in this society who abuse children.
Lyon also told Johnson she could not associate with former members of the group or do any missionary work.
Florence objected to the no contact order, pointing out that numerous people within the group have never charged with any crimes. "They're (members), not card-carrying lunatics," he said.
No defendants took their cases to trial, opting instead to plea bargain. Some of those charged and the outcome of their cases are as follows:
- Arvin Shreeve, 63, pleaded guilty to two first-degree felony sodomy on a child, two second-degree felony on sexual abuse of a child, sentenced Dec. 23, 1991, 20 years to life in prison.
- Sharon Kapp, 36, pleaded guilty to one first-degree felony sodomy on a child, one first-degree felony attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child, one second-degree felony sexual exploitation of a minor, one third-degree felony dealing harmful material to a minor, sentenced Feb. 19, 1992, to 10 years to life in prison.
- Michael Shreeve, 36, charged with first-degree felony sodomy on a child, charge dismissed.
- Jennifer Shreeve, 25, pleaded guilty to one first-degree attempted sodomy on a child, one second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child, one second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, sentenced Jan. 13, 1992, 90 days in the Weber County Jail.
- Troylene Brown, 25, pleaded guilty to one third-degree felony attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, one third-degree felony of dealing harmful material to a minor, sentenced Aug. 17, 1992, 60 days in jail.
- Amy Partridge, 27, pleaded guilty to one second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child, one second-degree felony sexual exploitation of a minor, sentenced Jan. 27, 1992, six months in jail.