Child sex abuse victims plead for more prison time for attacker

Published: Thursday, Oct. 10 2013 6:50 p.m. MDT

Riders from Bikers Against Child Abuse escorted Azure Wakefield Davis to the Utah State Prison's Oquirrh Building on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2013.

Matt Gade, Deseret News

UTAH STATE PRISON — Michael Doporto has spent 20 years in prison for raping a child.

But his victim and other women who say they, too, were raped or sexually assaulted by Doporto say it's not enough.

"We are living in fear. When you guys get to go to bed tonight and you all get to go to sleep, none of us get to sleep tonight," said Tennille MacLean, Doporto's niece who was raped by her uncle starting when she was 5. "My life is turned upside down because of this monster."

On Thursday, those women tried to convince the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole that Doporto should not be paroled from prison on Nov. 26 as scheduled.

Doporto was convicted of one count of sexual abuse of a child and sodomy on a child in 1998. The sex abuse conviction carried a sentence of up to 15 years, which he has served. The sodomy conviction carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison.

Even though the parole board has already set a release date for Doporto, many of the women who say he sexually abused them felt they weren't properly notified of his prior parole hearing in 2010. Because of that, the board held a victim impact hearing Thursday to take comments from some of those women.

The small parole hearing room was filled to capacity. The majority of people were there opposing Doporto's release. Many had to wait outside the hearing room because there were no more chairs. Several members of the group Bikers Against Child Abuse also came to support the victims.

Five of the women delivered comments during the hearing, pleading with parole board officer Jim Hatch to keep Doporto in prison for life.

Although Doporto was only convicted of raping one of the women because the statute of limitations prevented the other cases from being brought to trial, he has admitted in post-conviction documents that he did assault the others.

All of the women spoke of how they continue to struggle in their personal lives today, many saying they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and battle depression, panic attacks and anxiety daily. One of the women said she has had suicidal thoughts and has cut herself in the past as a way to deal with it.

"I don't trust people, especially men," said one woman, who said she was raped at 11 when she tried to go to Doporto's house to play with his daughter.

She told Hatch that she was serving her own "life sentence," and that if Doporto had been convicted of all the rapes he actually committed, he would never have been given parole.

"Every time I think of my childhood, it makes me sick," said Jessica, another family member who said she was raped from the time she was 4 until age 11.

"He does not deserve to get out. He is sick," she said. "This sick person belongs in his cell."

MacLean said after she was raped the first time, Doporto threatened to sick his pit bulls on her if she told anyone.

"(If) you let him out, the victims behind me are not going to know how to move forward," she told the parole hearing officer. "The world is not safe with him.

"If you have daughters and you let him out, God rest your soul, because I don't know how you're going to sleep at night," she said.

The women and their families started an online petition to keep Doporto in prison. Azure Davis, another of his victims, said as of Thursday there were more than 2,200 signatures.

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