Judge sentences man to jail for sexual assault after victim pleads for mercy

LOGAN — A judge has ordered Neal O. Eddington to a lesser sentence, after the victim he was convicted of raping asked the court to show mercy.  Judge Kevin Allen said, in the 10-years he has been on the bench, he’s never seen such compassion.  He also expressed anger and frustration, describing his weariness of seeing the effects of sexual assaults in the community.

Eddington appeared in 1st District Court Monday afternoon.  The 25-year-old has been held in the Cache County Jail since a jury found him guilty of object rape, a first-degree felony, and misdemeanor sexual battery.

Judge Allen said instead of sending Eddington to prison, he ordered him to serve one-year in jail and pay restitution.  In addition, with the victim’s approval, he wanted him to develop a presentation on sexual assault and its impacts on women.

Judge Allen hoped that Eddington would change lives throughout the state, especially his own.  He noted that sexual assault is not discussed enough in families, churches or schools.

Earlier the victim asked the court for the lighter sentence, explaining that she didn’t want to look back on her life and feel like she should’ve been more merciful.  She went onto explain that her mercy didn’t mean Eddington was innocent.  She said she believed in mercy, hope, change and forgiveness.

State attorney Jacob Gordon said he was disgusted with Eddington’s actions and showing no signs of remorse.  He also noted that for the first time in his career as a prosecutor, he disagreed with the victim and asked the court for the maximum prison sentence possible.

Throughout the May trial, the victim described how she and Eddington went to her Logan townhome during a first date to watch a movie in October 2017.  Afterwards, they went to her bedroom where he reportedly became forceful, ripping her pants and bra, and telling her he was going to, “break her.”  She described how through the course of the night, the defendant forced her to perform oral sex multiple times, as she repeatedly told him “no.”

During Monday’s sentencing, Judge Allen told Eddington the entire responsibility for what happened lied with him.  He said, as soon as the defendant heard the word “No,” he should have gotten up and walked out the door.


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  • Matt-man July 10, 2018 at 6:32 pm Reply

    I know Neal Eddington……. He is a good man!

    It was consensual.

    Something is completely out of balance. I find it interesting when speaking with his family and many at the trial, how the police interviewed all of the room mates together and not independently! What the deal is that, for witnesses to collaborate right there and then! Ridiculous Court System! Why? So they can collaborate their stories in front of the officer? Ridiculous! The judge should have thrown it out of court! Talk about tampering with witnesses! I find it ironic that it was the room mates who called the police,,,, not the supposedly victim. The room mates! Plus it was days after…?
    When my daughter was sexually assaulted, we knew and responded immediately. I would trust my daughter in the same room with him.
    It’s a sad thing for all. I’ve never known Neal to do anything dishonorable in all the years I’ve known and associated with him. For a summer he worked for me. He was excellent! I’d still hire him if he asked.
    What is also crazy about the trial, none of her / victims illicit history was allowed to brought into the view, that established her past sexual behaviors, also verifying it was consensual! Nice job Cache County Police and Court system. You blew it or you blew Neal!

  • Dan July 12, 2018 at 11:10 pm Reply

    The comment by Matt-man that the assault was actually “consensual” is disturbing. Most likely it was, at first. But I cannot ignore trying to lay the guilt on the young woman, as if it is her fault. I too know Neal Eddington, and as with most people, he was generally a decent guy. In a different article it mentioned that many of his family and supporters wrote letters saying what a great guy he was. However, many of the people that recently worked with Neal knew him to have a reputation of being cocky, a “player”, and even created a slide show showing girls he had “hooked” up with that he liked to brag about. Several complaints were brought against him for inappropriate behavior as well. Matt, you mentioned not worrying about leaving your daughter with him. I however, would never have encouraged a friend, much less my daughter to go out with him or someone like him. Not without clearly warning them to be very careful about being alone with him. Unfortunately, we here this too often. “He was such a nice guy.” Well, there are a lot of “good guys” who make dumb choices and can have a very negative impact on not only their life, but others as well. True, Cache County Police might have done the investigation a little differently, with possibly different charges. But for a lot of girls, Neal was a predator, make no mistake. And not all victims of assault are psychologically strong enough to immediately fight back in the moment for a variety of reasons. But to say she is not a victim, and minimize the actions of a predator, is unacceptable. Elsewhere, it said the prosecutor was disgusted that Neal was still refusing to take responsibility for his actions. For many of us that knew him, it seems possible that this, unfortunately, could happen again, he’ll just be smarter about getting away with it.

  • Jake December 18, 2018 at 11:33 pm Reply

    I was Neal’s roommate at the time of this incident. I didn’t really like him all that much when I met him, because he definitely was cocky and liked to date around. When this girl accused him of rape, he came to me and we talked about it. I started to understand him and like him more, and appreciate his friendship, and I believed him when he said he believed it was consensual at the time it happened.

    Maybe it wasn’t consensual, but from his point of view, she never communicated that effectively enough to make him realize she didn’t want it. He said that she did say things like “maybe we should stop” in a light in playful way, and respectfully, he agreed with her, but then she resumed what she had been doing. I also believed him when he said that was the most intimate encounter he ever had with a girl in his life. And though he may have been cocky and a little snobby at times, I still find him to be a great friend and person, despite what seems to have happened in this situation.

    I think he has learned his lesson and won’t allow the kind of things he did on that date to happen again. It definitely made me understand why it’s important to respect boundaries until you really know and trust a person completely, and I know he learned a similar, if not the same, lesson from this experience.

  • Anonymous September 12, 2019 at 12:03 pm Reply

    Matt-man and Jake:

    The fact that you’re both defending him because you “know him” and “he’s a good guy” is disgusting. No “good guy” tells a woman that he’s going to “break her” before engaging in consensual sexual activity. If it was consensual, she would not have pursued a criminal case against him (she had nothing to gain by doing so), and he wouldn’t have been convicted of a first-degree felony. In another article, it was stated that people who were in the courtroom during his trial observed that he demonstrated no introspection or remorse, and accepted zero responsibility for what he had done. He’s not a “good guy,” and his Eagle Scout award and returned missionary status mean absolutely nothing.

    I would recommend reading Judge Allen’s statements from the sentencing hearing. He said, “This case is not about a young man who was raised in a supportive but privileged environment who made one mistake. This case is not about a big misunderstanding between genders. This case is not about one night of lost control. This case is about sexual assault, pure and simple.” End of story.

    (And, for the record, I went to high school with him — and I am not at all surprised by this.)

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