LOGAN — A 32-year-old Logan man is headed to prison for raping a woman during a Halloween party in 2017. Paul W. Doucette had previously pleaded guilty but mentally ill, in hopes that he might be sent to the State Mental Hospital instead.
Doucette was sentenced in 1st District Court Monday afternoon. He accepted a plea deal in May, confessing to one count of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony.
Doucette sexually assaulted the woman during a party, early on the morning of October 29, 2017. The victim told officers, the defendant attempted to have sex with her. After telling him no and pushing him away, he held her down on the floor and raped her multiple times. The assault stopped when she called out to a friend, who walked into the room and witnessed what was happening. Later it was determined that he was suffering from a mental illness at the time the crime occurred.
During Monday’s sentencing, the victim said there was no way to describe the pain she had suffered, describing it as the “worst moment of my life.” She went on to tell the court, she had spent the past 651 days feeling like she was the one in prison. She asked for Doucette to be held accountable for what he did.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Jacob Gordon said despite the mental illness diagnosis, Doucette knew exactly what he was doing at the time the sexual assault took place. He asked the court to send the defendant to prison, stating that Doucette represented the worst kinds of danger to our society.
Public defender Shannon Demler said Doucette had been released from a behavioral health unit just before the rape took place. He explained that his client didn’t make the decision on a clear mind because of the metal illness. He asked the court for probation instead of incarceration.
Doucette spoke only briefly during the sentencing. He apologized and said he thought the victim consented to have sex with him.
Judge Kevin Allen explained that Doucette’s case highlighted the horrific mental health problem in our community. He said, “Mental health is probably the worst illness because we ignore it as a society.” He told the defendant though, mental illness was not the only thing that caused this. He repeated how the defendant had stopped taking his medication before the crime occurred.
Judge Allen called Doucette a danger and sentenced him to 5-years-to-life at the Utah State Prison, the maximum sentence. He told the defendant, “You will not get out of prison until you embrace counseling and take it seriously.”
Doucette has had prior criminal involvements. In October 2016, he walked into a hair salon with an air-soft handgun under his arm. He reportedly waived the gun, telling the employees that he worked for the police and god. He walked out the backdoor of the business and was later confronted by police and arrested.