Randell Outland was sentenced to Life in prison by Judge Fred Edwards in the 9th Judicial District Court on Thursday, April 8, 2010. The defendant had previously been convicted by a jury in October of last year. The case was reset for Judge Edwards to consider whether or not the defendant was a habitual sexual offender thereby mandating a mandatory life sentence.

The defendant was convicted of aggravated sexual assault, a first degree felony, for his actions arising out of the sexual abuse of his step-daughter who was ten years old at the time. At trial, prosecutor Nancy Hebert, elicited that the defendant would sexually assault the victim when the girl’s mother was away at work. The girl testified that this conduct occurred over a period of four to five months. The defense claimed that this was a false allegation created by the girl’s mother as a result of marital discord. The investigation began when the victim made an outcry to a teacher at her school. The defendant’s mother testified on behalf of the defendant, but she was unable to support the defense’s claim that the allegation was made up. Hebert stated “The jury disregarded the testimony of the defense and believed the victim.” After the jury’s verdict of guilty to the charged count, the judge reset the case to listen to arguments on the punishment range.

Hebert argued to Judge Edwards that the defendant should be sentenced to a mandatory life in prison due to a previous conviction for a sexual predator type offense in Utah. The defendant had been convicted in that state in 1990 of Sexual Exploitation of a Child. Judge Edwards reviewed the evidence and the law and agreed with the prosecutor that the appropriate sentence for the defendant was life in prison. Hebert stated that “…because the defendant was sentenced to life in prison for an aggravated sexual assault, he will not be eligible for parole until his actual time served equals thirty five years.” District Attorney, Brett Ligon, stated that he was pleased with the verdict and the sentence by Judge Edwards. He also stated that juries in Montgomery County are making it known through their verdicts that this sort of conduct will be dealt with harshly in this jurisdiction and that in this case, the system worked to punish a sexual predator and ensure that our county is a safer place now.

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