LOGAN — A 75-year-old Logan man has been given the maximum sentence for sexually abusing two young girls during the past several years. Roberto G. Ponce was ordered to serve 10-years-to-life in prison after telling the court he was sorry.
Ponce was sentenced during a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Wednesday morning, appearing by web conference from the Cache County Jail. He previously pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony.
Ponce was arrested March 12 after Logan City police officers received a complaint from the victim’s grandmother. She described how the two girls, ages 6 and 7-years-old, had disclosed to her that Ponce had been molesting them.
During Wednesday’s sentencing, the victim’s mother described how her daughters were suffering from long-term trauma after Ponce preyed on them until they reported the abuse. She claimed, he likely had molested other children during the past 50 years but was never prosecuted.
Defense attorney Ryan Holdaway had asked for a lighter sentence, while stating he was not trying to minimize what Ponce had done. He explained that due to his client’s age and health condition, a longer prison term would likely take the last years of his life.
Ponce spoke only briefly, telling the court he was remorseful for what he had done. He said, he had betrayed the trust of the victim’s family and felt sorry for that.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray said Ponce deserved the harshest penalty possible under the previously agreed plea deal between attorneys. He called the defendant a risk to the public, who should spend the rest of his life in prison.
Judge Brian Cannell said he couldn’t sentence Ponce to a lesser charge in good conscience. He praised the victim’s family for being heroic and hoped they would find healing.