A Moroni man, one of five charged with sex crimes involving the same 13-year-old girl, will spend 90 days in the Utah State Prison's diagnostic unit before being sentenced for forcible sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony.
Jack Johnston, 55, pleaded guilty to the charge in November in a plea bargain that dropped two other charges, rape of a child under 14, a first-degree felony, and sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.Johnston appeared in court for sentencing but his attorney, Donald Elkins, argued that Adult Probation and Parole's recommendation for a sentence of five years to life in prison is too severe. Elkins said the circumstances surrounding the crime and the victim should entitle Johnston to a less severe penalty.
He said even though the victim was only 13 years old, she appeared to be much more mature both physically and mentally than a normal 13-year-old girl. He also said she admitted to being sexually involved with 28 different individuals. Elkins said that the girl approached Johnston and that she was a girl "who used sexual favors to obtain drugs and cigarettes."
County attorney Kay Bryson said that most of the individuals who were involved sexually with the girl were juveniles. He said Johnston was one of seven adults to take advantage of the girl's weakness.
"She was 13 years old and she looked 13 years old," Bryson said.
Johnston is scheduled to return to court April 26 for final sentencing.