Monday, September 20, 2010

Former LDS Seminary Principal Michael Pratt Sentenced To Five Years To Life For Sexual Abuse Of Underage Girl In American Fork, Utah

The 15-month saga of former Lone Peak High School seminary principal Michael Pratt, which began with his arrest in July 2009, finally came to an end in Fourth District Court in American Fork, Utah on September 20th, 2010. Judge Christine Johnson sentenced Pratt to five years to life on a host of charges related to the sexual abuse of one of his underage female students. Media stories published by the Provo Daily Herald, the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune, and KSL Channel 5.

All previous posts on this case available HERE; the most recent post will appear first.

Video Courtesy of

Pratt will serve five years to life on each of three first-degree felony charges and one to fifteen years for his second-degree felony charge. All sentences are to be served concurrently. After a year of legal maneuvering, he finally pleaded guilty in June 2010 to one count of forcible sodomy, two counts of object rape -- all first-degree felonies -- and one second-degree felony count of forcible sexual abuse.

Pratt himself addressed the court briefly. "I pray that those who I've hurt, whether or not they can forgive me right now, hope they can find the healing, and the hope and peace that they need in their life," Pratt said quietly. "I acknowledge that I did wrong, prepared to pay whatever the price I need to pay for that." But the unidentified victim told Pratt a strong voice: "Today I want to make it clear to you, I am no longer blinded by your craftiness, my eyes are wide open," she said. "I am no longer your puppet, your toy, your game."

The abuse began innocently enough with text messaging, which became increasingly explicit sexually with the passage of time. Then by the first part of May 2009, it escalated into a sexual relationship, as Pratt checked her out of school on numerous occasions and took her to several places around the local area to have sex. In late July 2009, the unidentified victim spoke out and provided a detailed account of the activities. It is a sordid tale of manipulation - Pratt played every possible emotional card to hornswoggle his way into her pants.

Upon his arrest in July 2009, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints immediately removed him from his position as LDS seminary principal at Lone Peak High School. However, the LDS Church does not customarily take action against one's membership in a criminal case until the individual is either convicted or pleads guilty. Once Pratt pleaded guilty in June 2010, it can be assumed that the LDS Church convened a disciplinary court to take action against Pratt's membership, but the Church customarily doesn't publicize the results of such actions unless the recipient goes public first.

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