Booking photo for Braxton W. Egbert (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).
LOGAN — A 19-year-old Hyrum man is headed to prison for molesting his roommate last year. Braxton W. Egbert asked the court for leniency before receiving the maximum sentence of two terms of 1-15 years, and a third sentence of one year. The terms will all run at the same time.
Egbert was sentenced in 1st District Court Monday morning. He previously accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony; and, sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor.
Public defender Shannon Demler explained to the court how Egbert suffered from depression, a mental disability and low self-esteem. He said his client knew there were problems with his life and that he needed to change, to be a productive member of society.
Demler asked the court to consider sentencing Egbert to jail instead of prison. He said it would give his client the opportunity to continue receiving local counseling.
Egbert told the court that he had been diagnosed with autism. He said being in jail would allow him to get more help.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Dane Murray opposed the idea of jail. He told the court that he had never seen a criminal history so disturbing as Egbert’s. He said there should be no other choice than prison, noting that the defendant had sexually assaulted 17 people from the time he was a juvenile until now.
Murray said, “Prison is the best place for [Egbert]. He was left a trail of hurt behind him. He is a significant risk to public safety.”
Cannell agreed with Murray. He explained that even as he compared Egbert’s young age with the threat to the community, the scale tipped in favor of protecting the public.
Egbert was arrested in October after deputies learned that he was spying on a 20-year-old man repeatedly, while inappropriately touching himself. He would look through a hole in a bedroom door or use a CD as a mirror, to view the victim changing clothes or using the bathroom. At other times, he would sneak into the man’s bedroom and molest him.
Egbert later told deputies, “he cannot control himself sexually, and needs to be either closely supervised or kept away from other people.” He also described having multiple sexual addictions and problems throughout his life.
In November, Egbert was found competent to stand trial after attorneys requested a mental evaluation. He was ordered to receive treatment while incarcerated.
Earlier this year, prosecutors filed a second case after deputies learned that Egbert allegedly sexually abused his cellmate multiple times. The abuse was reported in January, and the suspect then been placed in a cell all by himself. The case was later dismissed as part of the plea agreement.