LOGAN — A judge has ordered Neal O. Eddington to a lesser sentence, after the victim he was convicted of raping asked the court to show mercy. Judge Kevin Allen said, in the 10-years he has been on the bench, he’s never seen such compassion. He also expressed anger and frustration, describing his weariness of seeing the effects of sexual assaults in the community.
Eddington appeared in 1st District Court Monday afternoon. The 25-year-old has been held in the Cache County Jail since a jury found him guilty of object rape, a first-degree felony, and misdemeanor sexual battery.
Judge Allen said instead of sending Eddington to prison, he ordered him to serve one-year in jail and pay restitution. In addition, with the victim’s approval, he wanted him to develop a presentation on sexual assault and its impacts on women.
Judge Allen hoped that Eddington would change lives throughout the state, especially his own. He noted that sexual assault is not discussed enough in families, churches or schools.
Earlier the victim asked the court for the lighter sentence, explaining that she didn’t want to look back on her life and feel like she should’ve been more merciful. She went onto explain that her mercy didn’t mean Eddington was innocent. She said she believed in mercy, hope, change and forgiveness.
State attorney Jacob Gordon said he was disgusted with Eddington’s actions and showing no signs of remorse. He also noted that for the first time in his career as a prosecutor, he disagreed with the victim and asked the court for the maximum prison sentence possible.
Throughout the May trial, the victim described how she and Eddington went to her Logan townhome during a first date to watch a movie in October 2017. Afterwards, they went to her bedroom where he reportedly became forceful, ripping her pants and bra, and telling her he was going to, “break her.” She described how through the course of the night, the defendant forced her to perform oral sex multiple times, as she repeatedly told him “no.”
During Monday’s sentencing, Judge Allen told Eddington the entire responsibility for what happened lied with him. He said, as soon as the defendant heard the word “No,” he should have gotten up and walked out the door.