VERNAL, Utah, October 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A 21 year-old Utah man was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday for beating a pregnant 17 year-old girl to try to cause a miscarriage, after she paid him to do so. Prosecutors said the seven months pregnant Uintah County girl paid Aaron Harrison $150 to beat her after her boyfriend threatened a breakup if she didn’t abort the child.
Court documents said Harrison brought the girl in May to his home, where he was accused of kicking and biting her, leaving bruises on her stomach and a bite mark on her neck. The baby survived the beating and was safely delivered in August.
Harrison had pleaded guilty to second-degree felony charge of attempted murder, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. But District Judge A. Lynn Payne instead sentenced him under Utah’s anti-abortion statute, saying a charge of third-degree “attempted killing of an unborn child” better fit the facts of the case, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The judge called Harrison’s conduct in the beating case “horrible beyond description” and said he had “a remarkable disregard for human life.” “I don’t think words can describe the kind of depraved conduct you entered into in trying to take the life of an (unborn) child,” Judge Payne said to Harrison from the bench.