A former Utah County Boy Scout leader narrowly avoided prison Monday and instead was sentenced to a year in jail for sexually abusing a 12-year-old troop member.
Gary Wade Brown, 42, cried in 4th District Judge Christine Johnson's courtroom as he apologized to the Scout, his family and the Boy Scouts of America for exploiting his position to victimize the young boy.
"I can't imagine the amount of pain and anger I have caused [the victim and his family]," Brown said. "No one else is to blame. I take full responsibility."
Brown pleaded guilty in June to four counts of sexual abuse of a child and one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, all second-degree felonies, as part of a bargain to avoid serving time in prison, prosecutor Julia Thomas-Fishburn said.
The victim's father, who knew Brown from his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward, said he believes Brown can turn his life around and wants him to be given the chance to rehabilitate.
"I don't approach this situation with vengeance, but more with sorrow and pity," the victim's father said. "This is not the way I wish to see Wade."
Johnson said she was close to sending Brown to prison but decided to suspend the one- to 15-year prison sentence and give him one year in jail based on a psychologist's report that said he was a low risk for a repeat offense.
Johnson, however, placed Brown on an intensive 36-month probation, during which he must complete rehabilitative therapy and not have contact with minors, including his own children. The probation will begin when Brown, who was credited with eight months of time already served, gets out of jail in four months.
The sexual activity between Brown and his troop member occurred for 18 months in 2005 to 2006, according to police. They said the boy reported that Brown had fondled him at Scout camps and in the ex-Scout leader's car and home.