PROVO A man who broke into a neighbor's house in a drunken stupor and sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl may not be a terrible person when he's sober, but his crime is too serious to avoid prison, a judge said Tuesday.
Robert Bosserman, 26, sobbed and his body shook as 4th District Judge Steven Hansen denied his request to attend an in-patient treatment center and instead sentenced him to three years to life in prison for a first-degree felony of attempted rape and aggravated burglary, a third-degree felony.
"I feel that you are sincere today," Hansen told Bosserman Tuesday morning. "Like you said, you have taken the effort, initiative and are on the right path. I have no doubt that you are a good person regardless of what they said at the diagnostic (unit at the prison). You do have a lot of potential. However, what you did just traumatized a family and a 15-year-old girl for the rest of their lives."
Bosserman was arrested in Orem in March after a 15-year-old girl ran into her brother's room to say she'd just been raped by an acquaintance of her brother who had broken into their house. Bosserman was found by police at his home a few hours later.
Bosserman's family and friends also sobbed throughout the hearing, having pleaded with the judge for a chance to get him substance abuse and sexual counseling, things he'd never had before, said defense attorney Matthew Howell.
"It's very clear the criminal history he has had, including this incident, is based on or triggered by his substance abuse," Howell said. "Rather than sending him to prison, which I view as the last resort ... we gotta give some of these other programs a try."
Howell acknowledged that during the 90-day evaluation at the Utah State Prison diagnostic unit, Bosserman was no longer solely blaming drugs or alcohol for his behavior.
"Substance abuse is a contributing factor, he recognizes, but it goes well beyond that," Howell said. "There are additional matters he needs to deal with and he's wanting to deal with them."
And that could be done at a structured inpatient treatment center rather than the prison.
"I'll never do this again, never drink or do anything like this," Bosserman wept as he told Hansen. "I just want to become a better person. I want to be a part of society."
But prosecutor Doug Finch pointed out areas of concern in the diagnostic report, including evaluator statements about Bosserman's inability to take responsibility for his own actions, his tendency to selectively follow rules and his criminal pride. But the most concerning to Finch was Bosserman's "returning memory" of the night in question.
Bosserman originally said he blacked out and didn't remember climbing onto the teen in her bed, Finch said. But at the prison, he told officials he went to visit the girl's older brother at 2 a.m., got a sexual thought and went to find the girl. The brother and he were only acquaintances at work, not close friends.
"It doesn't get more troubling ... to enter into a neighbor's home in order to seek sex in the middle of the night," Finch said."Everyone in my household ... is having a really hard time going to bed," the girl's mother told Hansen. "I'm continually getting up, checking my windows, door. You lose your whole sense of safety in your house."