Arkansas man given max prison sentence for driving to Logan to have sex with teen girl

LOGAN — A 38-year-old Arkansas man has been sentenced to up to 30-years in prison for driving to Cache County to have sex with a 15-year-old Hyrum girl. Jeremiah S. Wood expressed remorse just before he was given the maximum sentence of three terms of one-to-15-years. Two of the sentences were ordered to run consecutively.

Wood appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday morning. He previously pleaded guilty to three amended counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

Wood drove to Logan in May 2017 from Bella Vista, Arkansas. He met up with the girl at the Days Inn, reportedly checking in under a false identity. He had been communicating with her for over a year, exchanging pornographic photos. He has been in the Cache County Jail since being arrested in August 2017.

During Tuesday’s sentencing, Wood told the court there wasn’t a day that went by, he didn’t think about the pain he had caused to the victim and his own family. He said he prayed for them every night.

State attorney Jacob Gordon said Wood’s actions were methodically planned out, noting how he drove more than 1,200 miles to have sex with the victim. He also explained how the defendant used the false name, Max Wise, so the victim didn’t know how old he was. He asked the court to send Wood to prison, to pay back society for his crimes.

Defense attorney Wayne Caldwell argued that the victim and Wood communicated through several social media apps and that she knew his identity. He also explained how the defendant had never done anything like this before and had been a model inmate since being arrested.

The victim begged the court to send Wood to prison for as long as possible. She explained how he had lied and manipulated, to deceive her about who he was. Speaking to Wood she said, “I’m not sure there is any good in you. I may never forgive you.”

Judge Brian Cannell said Wood’s behavior was abhorrent. He explained that when you steal the virtue of a young woman it is significant. He gave him the maximum sentence and also refused to give any credit for the 16-months Wood has been in jail. He said, “You have earned every day you spend there.” He also ordered him to complete sex-offender treatment in prison, expressing hope that it will make him a better man.

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