Booking photo for Jaxson Gene Smith (Courtesy: Cache County Jail)

LOGAN — A 19-year-old man Logan man has been sentenced to prison for raping a teenage girl in 2020. Jaxson G. Smith told a judge he had been stupid, before being ordered to serve a term of six-years-to-life.

Smith was sentenced during a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday morning, appearing by web conference from jail. He previously accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to rape of a child, sodomy on a child and aggravated sexual abuse of a child, all first-degree felonies.

Defense attorney Joseph Saxton said Smith was a “humble and caring individual, who had made some poor choices.” He also had cooperated with law enforcement and didn’t try to hide anything.

Cache County Sheriff’s deputies began investigating Smith after receiving a tip from the SafeUT app. The informant described how the defendant was engaging in sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl.

Deputies interviewed the victim. She described how after sneaking out of her home, Smith would pick her up and take her to his residence. While there, the two would engage in sexual activity.

During Monday’s sentencing, Smith’s mother asked the court to consider a lesser sentence. She said prison seemed too harsh.

Smith spoke briefly, saying that he had been a dumb 18-year-old.

Judge Spencer Walsh said the Utah legislature had set very strict punishments regarding sexual crimes between adults and children, binding him to sentence Smith to prison. He explained though, due to the defendant’s young age, it would be unduly harsh to issue a longer sentence.

Judge Walsh recommended that Smith take advantage of the programs at the prison to improve his life. He said, “There is still a lot of time in your life to accomplish a lot of good.”

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