LOGAN — A 74-year-old Providence man has been sentenced to prison for raping a woman more than a year ago. Richard R. Cornell expressed remorse and asked for mercy before receiving the maximum sentence.
Cornell was sentenced in 1st District Court Wednesday afternoon. He previously accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony; and forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.
In March 2020, Cache County sheriff’s deputies were called after the 19-year-old woman went to CAPSA for help. She described how Cornell, who was an acquaintance, had entered her bedroom and started molesting her. He then forcefully removed her clothes and raped her, telling her not to talk to anyone about what had happened.
The woman later called Cornell from the sheriff’s office, so deputies could record the conversation. During the call, he apologized to her and said it never should have happened. He then stated that he had prayed about it, and she should go home, “take a shower, and forget it ever happened.”
Cornell was arrested and booked into the Cache County Jail, where he has been held without bail while the criminal case proceeded through the court system.
During Wednesday’s sentencing, the victim tearfully recounted what Cornell had done and the pain it had caused her.
Public defender Shannon Demler asked the court for a lighter sentence. He noted that sending Cornell to prison would be a life sentence because of the Providence man’s age.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray said Cornell didn’t deserve to take another breath as a free man. He stated that no one should have to go through what the victim had.
Judge Brian Cannell said it was hard for him to understand how Cornell could do what he did. Although he noted the defendant needed mercy, the victim and the public also needed justice. He sentenced the defendant to five-years-to-life in prison, expressing hope that everyone could find healing.
Cornell was silent as deputies escorted him out of the courtroom, as the victim turned away and hugged her family. The exact length of time he will serve in prison will be determined by the Board of Pardons and Parole.