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Syracuse man sentenced under new Jessica's Law

Syracuse man sentenced under new Jessica's Law

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FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- A Syracuse man who pleaded guilty to the attempted rape of a 13-year-old neighbor has been ordered to serve a prison term of 15 years to life.

Jonathan Kent Simmons was sentenced in 2nd District Court Thursday. He is one of the first people in Utah charged under Jessica's Law.

Under the law anyone convicted of rape of a child would spend 25 years to life in prison. The law also allows for a minimum mandatory term of 15 years to life when a defendant pleads to a lesser charge.

Simmons was charged in July with first-degree felony rape of a child and sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. In a deal with prosecutors, 29-year-old Simmons pleaded guilty to reduced charges of first-degree felony attempted rape of a child in September.

"We understand (the sentence is) a foregone conclusion of the statute," said Todd Utzinger, Simmons' attorney.

The state lgislature passed Jessica's Law earlier this year. It's named for Jessica Lunsford, who was kidnapped, raped and buried alive in 2005 by a convicted sex offender who lived in her neighborhood.

"To see the benefits of the new law taking place, it's very satisfying," said Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, who sponsored the bill. ------ Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune and Standard-Examiner

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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