LOGAN — A 62-year-old Logan man is heading to prison for molesting two teenage girls several years ago. Lee E. Poorte begged for forgiveness and then sat quietly, as a judge refused to follow state guidelines and gave him the maximum punishment.
Poorte was sentenced during a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Wednesday afternoon, appearing by web conference from his home. He previously pleaded guilty to five amended counts of sexual abuse of a child and five counts of forcible sexual abuse, all second-degree felonies.
In September, Cache County Sheriff’s deputies received a report from a 13-year-old girl describing how Poorte had inappropriately touched her multiple times. He later sent a text message to her, apologizing for groping and betraying her trust.
Investigators later spoke to a second female who is now 18-years-old, who also had been molested by Poorte hundreds of times when she was younger. She received a similar text from the defendant, apologizing and blaming his actions on his “own insecurities.”
Deputies contacted Poorte at his residence and took him into custody for questioning. He admitted to touching both girls for his “own gratification,” and was later released from jail after posting bail.
During Wednesday’s sentencing, defense attorney Susanne Gustin asked for the court to show her client leniency and sentence him to jail. She noted how Poorte had immediately admitted to what he had done and was apologetic.
Poorte expressed remorse for his actions and asked the victims to forgive him.
One of the women read a statement, telling Poorte he would never know what he had put her through. She described fighting feelings of anxiety and suicide. She said, he didn’t just destroy his life, but theirs also.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray asked the court to send Poorte to prison, noting how it was what the community expected for those who sexually abuse children. He also explained how the crimes occurred over several years and weren’t just a singular incident.
Judge Brian Cannell agreed with Murray, ordering Poorte to report to jail and begin serving a prison sentence of 1 to 15-years. He expressed hope that the defendant’s behavior would change and that the victims could find the joy they deserved.