'I am no longer your puppet,' victim tells ex-seminary teacher Michael Pratt

by | Sep. 20, 2010

News from Utah

The former seminary principal who developed a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student was sentenced to prison Monday morning.

Michael J. Pratt, 38, was ordered to serve five years to life in the Utah State Prison after previously pleading guilty to two counts of object rape, forcible sodomy and forcible sex abuse. The three first-degree felonies and one second-degree felony will be served concurrently.

"I have carefully considered the different options … to determine whether there is a probationary term that would be fair. In the end, I cannot justify ordering probation in his case," Judge Christine Johnson said. "The aggravating factors simply outweigh the mitigating circumstances. The crimes are too severe, the conduct is too outrageous, the harm done is too grevious."

Pratt addressed the court briefly.

"I pray that those who I've hurt, whether or not they can forgive me right now, hope they can find the healing, and the hope and peace that they need in their life," Pratt said quietly. "I acknowledge that I did wrong, prepared to pay whatever the price I need to pay for that."

During the hearing, Pratt was painted as a "sick, perverted, arrogant child predator" by family members of the victim.

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
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