FARMINGTON -- Two mothers of victims sexually abused by 81-year-old Lionel Milo Nance cried as they asked the judge for a prison sentence.
"This whole thing has been a train wreck," said one mother at Thursday's sentencing hearing. "Not one person has come out of this unscathed."
"He expected my child to keep secrets of horror," the other mother said, wiping away tears.
Nance, of Syracuse, pleaded guilty on Dec. 8 to three counts of first-degree felony attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a child.
2nd District Court Judge Robert J. Dale sentenced Nance on each count to serve three years to life at the Utah State Prison. Dale gave Nance credit for the time he has served in the Davis County Jail since his arrest. He also said Nance could serve the three sentences concurrently.
Syracuse police arrested Nance in August of 2011 after three victims disclosed that Nance molested them. According to court documents the abuse began in March of 1995 and continued until 2010.
Nance's public defender, Ryan Bushell, asked the judge to sentence Nance to a three-year-probation, which would include an ankle monitor and confinement to his home.
"If you sentence (Nance) to prison, he will not get out of prison before he dies," Bushell said.
Bushell said he was surprised that Nance had "lasted this long" due to his medical problems.
Bushell said the jail's medical staff have had a difficult time coping with Nance's medical problems.
Nance's family had made arrangements in case Nance could return home and receive medical treatment. They also made arrangements for him to not be around children, Bushell said.
Deputy Davis County Attorney Cristina Ortega said Nance's medical issues should not be a concern when it comes to sentencing. Instead, what should concern the judge is the span of time Nance had been abusing children, the number of victims and that Nance has shown no remorse for his actions.
"I just don't see how prison is not an option," Ortega said.
Nance apologized to the victims before he was sentenced. Sitting in a wheelchair, he said, with his voice breaking with emotion, "I want to apologize to all the girls I've caused problems with. I'm sorry I did anything to them."
Before he sentenced Nance, Dale said that just because "a person reaches an older age" does not mean they should be able to opt out of prison.
"I'm afraid this will be a death sentence," Dale said. "I don't know if you'll survive prison."