Man Accused of Rape and Trying to Hire Hit Man is Sentenced

Man Accused of Rape and Trying to Hire Hit Man is Sentenced

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A Springville man accused of repeatedly raping a female relative and then attempting to hire a hit man to kill the victim's boyfriend has been sentenced to prison.

Ralph Joe Jiron, 59, was sentenced Tuesday to six consecutive sentences. They were one term of one to 15 years for second-degree felony criminal solicitation and five terms of zero to five years for third-degree felony incest.

The theoretical maximum of the six consecutive sentences would be 40 years, but Utah law does not allow prisoners to serve more than 30 years on consecutive sentences.

In a plea bargain, Jiron pleaded no contest Aug. 21 to the charges that were reduced from eight first-degree felonies, one third-degree felony and one class-A misdemeanor.

The victim, now in her 30s, said she has been raped from the age of 5. The charges were for recent incidents.

"I don't want to see this person ever get out of prison," the woman told the court Tuesday. "I'm afraid. I'm always looking over my shoulder."

The criminal solicitation charge alleged that while Jiron was in the Utah County Jail between last December and January, he plotted to frighten the victim into not testifying by offering an undercover police officer $1,000 to have her boyfriend killed in front of her.

"He should go away for as long as you can put him away, because I don't want to look behind my shoulder the rest of my life," the boyfriend said Tuesday. "He's a horrible person."

Jiron's defense attorneys asked that he receive concurrent sentences, as recommended in the pre-sentence report prepared by Adult Probation and Parole.

"Many and most of the allegations the family brings up are simply not true," defense attorney Phil Danielson said.

County prosecutor Dave Sturgill said that if Jiron had hired a real hit man, the victim's boyfriend would be dead.

"He (Jiron) may be unable to read. He may be unable to write. But he has demonstrated he is certainly capable of murder," Sturgill said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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