LOGAN — A judge has sentenced a 25-year-old Smithfield man to jail for stalking his ex-girlfriend and threatening her roommates. Judge Kevin Allen ordered Luke J. Champlin to be taken into custody immediately, saying that our culture has got to do a better job of respecting women.
Champlin was sentenced in 1st District Court Tuesday morning. He previously accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to three counts of stalking and one count of failing to stop at the command of law enforcement, all class A misdemeanors.
Champlin was arrested May 2 after the victim called police, reporting her vehicle and apartment had been vandalized repeatedly. The woman, Champlin’s ex-girlfriend said that several times the light bulbs on her front porch were stolen. She later found, “weird oil poured on her vehicle,” and on her front porch. Three other times, firecrackers exploded outside her bedroom window and front door.
As the incidents continued, the victim installed a surveillance camera. It recorded Champlin walking around her car and front porch. He appeared to be carrying a milk jug in his hand and poured the liquid onto the front porch doormat. Investigators were able to match the liquid to the same substance found on the victim’s car.
During Tuesday’s sentencing, the victim’s roommates told the court how they trusted Champlin and considered him a friend. They described the feelings of fear and betrayal they experienced, as he secretly terrorized them for over a month.
The victim later spoke, telling the court that stalking isn’t taken seriously enough. She explained how she met Champlin at a Logan clothing store, owned by the defendant’s family. She described him as being someone she felt like she could confide in until he was caught.
Cache County deputy attorney Griffin Hazard said the case showed a pattern of escalating behavior. He described how Champlin also created a phony online account, using a photo of the victim and her roommates, suggesting they were looking to hook up with other women for sex.
Champlin tearfully apologized to all of the victims. He acknowledged accepting responsibility for his actions and the pain he had caused. He said, he wished everyone could see the change in his heart.
Judge Allen told Champlin the pain he had inflicted was obvious. He expressed hope for both the victims and the defendant and said he was a believer in redemption. He cautioned the defendant though, redemption was a long time away, if he truly changed his life. He ordered him to be taken into custody immediately and begin serving 60 days in jail. He also sentenced him to pay more than $2,000 in fines and restitution, complete therapy, and have no contact with the victim’s or their families.