A 38-year-old man, sentenced recently to one year in jail and six years' probation for raping his wife, says he is a changed man.

"By the will of God I've come to understand I have a good wife who has accepted the things I've done wrong," Andy Ray Repass told 5th District Judge G. Rand Beacham.Repass was convicted last year on two counts of rape, a first-degree felony, and faced up to life in prison. He was also convicted of tampering with a witness or juror, a third-degree felony, and misdemeanor charges of simple assault, unlawful detention, violation of a protective order and stalking.

In addition to the sentence imposed, he must complete an abuse counseling program.

"I raped my wife" when she told him no, Repass said. "I was flat-out wrong on how I acted."

The incidents occurred in March and April 1997 in St. George. Repass was sentenced July 9.

The judge said the sentence was not one he would impose in every case.

"The only real protection for society is the appropriate treatment," Beacham said. "If that's not done, it's just a matter of where and when he offends again."

A diagnostic evaluation, prosecutor O. Brenton Rowe and adult probation and parole all recommended prison time for Repass, who also has felony convictions in Oregon and Wyoming.

In court, Repass' wife begged for mercy and asked Beacham to let her husband come home.

Rowe thought Repass had not changed.