FARMINGTON -- A girl, no older than 10, told the man who sexually abused her she was glad she spoke out so he could not hurt another child.
It took several moments before the girl was able to speak clearly to Judge Robert J. Dale in 2nd District Court on Thursday. A woman stood next to her shielding her from the view of James Lee Ferguson, who admitted to sexually abusing the girl.
"I know what he did was wrong," the girl said. "I'm really glad I stopped it before he could do that to anyone else."
"You're very brave to be here," Dale said before he sentenced Ferguson.
Ferguson, 31, pleaded guilty on Sept. 13 to one count of attempted rape of a child, a first-degree felony.
Dale sentenced Ferguson to serve the mandatory sentence of 15 years to life at the Utah State Prison.
Ferguson, a registered sex offender, was originally charged in March with one count of sodomy on a child, two counts of rape of a child and three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, all first-degree felonies. He is also charged with two second-degree counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
The sexual abuse happened between March 1, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2011, according to court documents. Kaysville police learned of the abuse when they were investigating Ferguson on an unrelated criminal matter.
Ferguson said in court before he was sentenced that the presentence report "makes me look like a monster. I am a monster. I need help."
Ferguson also said he wants to make restitution for what he has done, but knows he can't make it right.
"Mr. Ferguson, you're totally correct," Dale said. "There's nothing you can do to make up for this."