UTAH STATE PRISON Blaine Nelson is worried about his salvation.
Appearing for his parole hearing, the convicted serial rapist admits he thinks about what awaits him in the hereafter and he's not sure he should be released from prison in the here and now.
"I was raised and born LDS, and I'm really concerned about what's going to happen to me in the next life," he said. "Hell would be this prison forever, and I definitely don't want that."
Nelson, 53, said it was an addiction to sex and drugs that made him a serial rapist. The parole board noted that he once raped three women in one night.
"I think I'm guilty of 38 rapes and 37 attempts with a total of 75 victims," Nelson admitted, later adding that he has two other victims in Wyoming.
Sitting calmly before a hearing officer, Nelson said he didn't like violence. However, as he escalated in his crimes from burglaries to sexual assaults, he began carrying a knife. He would stalk apartments, looking for single women. He would also try to learn about his victims.
"What I would do is once I gained entrance to the apartment, I would read some mail or some bills lying around," Nelson said.
The Ogden truck driver was convicted of a long list of criminal charges, including 14 counts of aggravated sexual assault; five counts of aggravated burglary; four counts of burglary; and a single count of firearm theft in crimes that spanned from Cedar City to Ogden and into Wyoming.
A Deseret News story from 1988 said that after he pleaded guilty to criminal charges in Ogden, one of his victims lunged at him in court.
"It's not fair. It's not fair," she screamed as she tried to grab at him but was restrained by police officers.
No victims or advocates for them attended Nelson's parole hearing.
Nelson said time has made him reflect on what he did, and he has listened to a tape of one of his victims.
"That's the first time I ever seen it from her side of the story," he said Tuesday. "Because in my mind, I would always justify it and tell myself things to make it better for me. But that was probably one of the best therapy things I did have."
Nelson said he is conflicted about whether he should ever be released from prison. He thinks he's changed yet he looks at his own criminal record and believes he shouldn't be released.
"I don't think anyone can look at your situation and not feel very overwhelmed by the nature of these offenses," said hearing officer Jennifer Bartell.
While the full parole board must consider when Nelson will be released, hearing officer Jennifer Bartell said she did not believe it would be anytime soon. She was planning to recommend his next hearing be held in 2023."If I do ever get out I'll probably go straight to a rest home," he replied.
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