Fourth District Judge Cullen Y. Christensen told an American Fork man Friday that he had no choice but to send him to prison for at least 10 years for raping a 13-year-old girl.
Sterling Mark Francom, 36, pleaded guilty to the first-degree felony in December. He was in court Friday for sentencing after spending 90 days in the Utah State Prison's diagnostic unit.Francom's attorney, Donald Elkins, told Christensen that he did not think Francom qualified for the incest exception rule to the minimum-mandatory statute for sex offenders. However, he said the mitigating and aggravating circumstances supported Francom receiving the five-year minimum sentence.
Christensen said the diagnostic report indicated Francom did not qualify for a rehabilitation program.
Christensen said he was obligated to sentence Francom to a minimum of 10 years in prison with the possibility of serving life. He also ordered him to pay restitution if the victim enrolls in therapy.