Recently, a large number of residents in the Castle Country area and beyond have grown upset over a hearing and verdict that took place on March 9.
Carbon County resident Bart Sorenson stood in front of Seventh District Court Judge George Harmond to receive a sentencing of reported crimes that allegedly took place over the course of four years. Sorenson pled guilty to 16 counts of forcible sexual assault.
During the court proceedings, Sorenson was sentenced to the maximum allowance of one to fifteen years on each count in the Utah State Prison. However, the sentence was then suspended pending successful completion of probation that will last 36 months. The 36-month probation sentence includes nine months in jail with the possibility of working during the time left to the local sheriff’s discretion.
Sorenson was also sentenced to participate in treatment and to pay for the treatment of his children. He was ordered not to have contact with any of his children at the present time. This sentence angered many citizens whom believe that Sorenson was given a “pat on the hand” rather than being sentenced fairly.
This apparent injustice has stirred the community to step up. A petition has been written to Judge Harmond, requesting the revocation of the suspension placed on Sorenson’s sentence. This petition states that as per Utah Code Title 76 Chapter 4 Part 4 Section 404, Sorenson should be sentenced to a minimum of sixteen years. That sentence would be one year per count that he was convicted of.
The petition further explains that citizens are concerned about the case setting a precedent for future cases as well as the message this may send to abused children. At press time, around 350 people had signed the petition. 500 signatures are needed before the petition will be submitted to Judge Harmond. If you are interested in signing the petition, please click here.
A peaceful protest has also been scheduled for Sorenson’s next court date, March 20, to begin at 8 a.m. at the Seventh District Courthouse in Price.