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Judge chastises parents over repeated sex abuse of daughter

LOGAN — A man who repeatedly raped his young stepdaughter over a three-year period was sentenced to prison Wednesday by a judge who unleashed scathing criticism of the man's actions.

The Logan man, 26, was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 25 years to life in prison for one count of rape of a child and another of sodomy on a child, both first-degree felonies.

As part of a plea bargain, 23 other felony charges were dismissed.

First District Judge Kevin Allen spoke quietly, but firmly, as he denounced the multiple forms of sexual mistreatment the man inflicted on his stepdaughter, starting when she was 5 years old and ending when she was 8.

"I have never seen such a horrendous case of child abuse," Allen said. "You don't love your daughter. You love only yourself."

Prosecutors said the man, whose name is being withheld to avoid identifying the child, had tied the child to a bed and sexually violated her in various fashions 26 times that they could document. The man also showed the girl pornography. Prosecutors said the man told the girl he would kill her if she ever told anyone.

Allen suggested that written statements from the man that spoke of religious convictions and forgiveness were simply efforts to get a lenient sentence.

The judge reminded him of Christ's words in Matthew 18:6: "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

The man's wife told the judge she knew her husband needed to be punished and to repent but went on to speak at length of how hard this situation has been for her, how she has suffered from depression and how her neighbors don't understand that she still loves her husband. She asked that she be allowed numerous visits with the man while he is in prison and expressed a desire to reunite with him when he is released and eventually be sealed to him in an LDS temple.

Allen rebuked her as well, noting that in two letters to the court and her comments in court Wednesday, the woman never once mentioned her daughter.

The girl had told her mother of the abuse early on, but the mother did not believe the child. The judge questioned why this did not put her on "high alert" for any signs of something wrong.

"Didn't you notice the bruises on your daughter's wrists and ankles?" he asked. "What kind of a mother would do that?"

Allen suggested she turn her focus from her husband and pay attention to the abused child, telling the woman, who still has custody of the child and four others, that he was "begging" her to get therapy for the girl.

As part of the sentence, Allen said he would write to Utah's Board of Pardons and Parole recommending that the man never be paroled, that he be allowed no contact with anyone connected with this case and that he not get any treatment for sexual problems.

"I hope you never breathe free air again," the judge said.