Montoya Sentenced; Victim Parents Criticize Judge

Montoya Sentenced; Victim Parents Criticize Judge

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FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- A Syracuse man has been received a five years to life sentence for aggravated sexual abuse of a child that is to run consecutively to four similar sentences previously handed down for his inappropriately touching young girls in his Mormon Primary class.

Aaron Marcos Montoya, 33, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child that encompassed six victims over a five-year period. The previous case involved three girls abused last year in his Syracuse Primary class for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2004.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss two charges Montoya faced in Weber County and five of six charges in Davis County in exchange for the guilty plea.

During the hearing, three fathers and one mother of abuse victims spoke directly to Judge Thomas L. Kay, chastising him for his remarks to parents during Montoya's Sept. 26 sentencing hearing when the judge suggested they not treat their daughters like victims.

"We never once had that desire," one father said.

Montoya was sentenced to four concurrent terms of five years to life in the first case. The sentenced handed down on Thursday was to be consecutive to the other four, but the actual time served is up to the pardons board.

Montoya's plea on Thursday involved incidents with six girls ranging in age from 3 to 11 that happened at his home, in his car and at Pineview Reservoir between the summer of 2000 and 2004.

Before Kay sentenced Montoya, 33, of Syracuse, he said being a judge does not mean "putting your finger in the air and see which way the voting public is going. If you do that, you're not a judge, but a legislator."

Two of the victims, now in their teens, also spoke at the hearing.

"(Montoya) is a big creep for not admitting it. I hope you go to jail for a long time. I feel so bad for all those poor little girls," one said while fighting back tears.

The other teenage girl, also fighting tears, said she now wishes she had spoken up sooner so maybe Montoya would not have molested other girls.

Both girls said they have a difficult time being around men because of what Montoya did to them.

In her statement, the mother of one of the teens told Kay, "You added to that pain" by not sentencing Montoya to consecutive sentences in September.

"You gave Aaron the lightest possible sentence. I find that reprehensible," she said, standing near her daughter.

Kay said the reason he is recommending the latest sentence to run after the other four is because the incidents happened to multiple girls, in different places and over a long period, while the four other incidents happened at the same location during a short period.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said all six remaining victims are accounted for by Montoya's plea. The current plea and Thursday's sentencing cannot be appealed, Rawlings said.

Rawlings said Kay did everything right concerning the August trial, even though he did not agree with some of Kay's decisions. Because of Kay's decisions, Montoya has little chance of winning an appeal if he appeals the jury verdict, Rawlings said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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