SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Each day the FBI estimated four women will be raped in Utah.
By some accounts, one in five women in Utah will be raped at some point in their lives. 

Good 4 Utah spent several months gathering interviews from men convicted of rape.  They appeared before the Utah Board of Pardons during scheduled parole hearings.  The Utah Department of Corrections prohibits taped interviews with inmates upon request by the media.  But it does allow the media to record inmates when they appear before the Board of Pardons.

In September, Timothy Irish appeared before a hearing officer.  Irish was convicted of rape at age 17.

“The idea was, if we can get girls to come over, we would use alcohol get them intoxicated and take advantage of them,” he told the hearing officer.

He said once their plan was in place and got the girls drunk Irish and his male friends saw their opening.   Irish the behavior started when he was fourteen years old and over time, He claimed he lost track of the number of his victims.

“Maybe 5 but after, numerous times,” Irish said.

Irish was caught and at age 18, was sentenced to prison, his home for the past seven years.

“Why I decided to rape?” Irish responded when asked by the hearing officer. “I don’t know. I was selfish, deviant. I had a bunch of deviances that I was dealing with.”

At the Utah state prison the number of sex offenders has steadily increased over two decades. In 1996 there were 200 in prison. Currently the prison houses 2400 according to the Utah Department of Corrections. Those incarcerated today represent one-third of the entire population.
According to the 2015 FBI report on crimes in the state there were 1547 women raped in Utah which represents about four a day.

Victor Kersey is a psychologist and supervises many of the programs at the state prison.

“A lot of it depends on victim selection,” Kersey said. “If its adult on adult it’s about power and control.  With a minor
it’s generally an act of sexual gratification based on an opportunity.

But rapists also have their own reasons.

“I am charismatic, highly intelligent,” said Sean Owens during an August parole hearing. “I have been manipulating people and I harmed a young lady causing her tremendous suffering for the rest of her life and I am sitting here telling you that what I did was okay.”

But experts claim rapists have no idea the hurt they’ve caused.

Laila, who didn’t want her identity revealed, was raped more than ten years ago.

“I felt unlovable,” she said. “I felt dirty, shameful. It still haunts me.”

Kersey said in general rapists don’t have any empathy for their victims.

“They are unable to place themselves in a victim’s position and understand that it’s hard on one’s life,” Kersey said.

Convicted serial rapist Azlen Marchet.  He appeared to fit that mold. At his 2009 sentencing, he called his victims, including Laila, liars.

“You know what I know every last one of them,” he told the judge in 2009. “I know what happened.  I’m not crazy.  You know what?  They’re lies.”

Kersey said rapists with an attitude like Marchet have a sense of entitlement.

“Typically this is an individual that feels he is entitled,” said Kersey. “Not only is it an act of power and control but they’re entitled to do what they want and to whom they want.”

Marchet’s attitude towards his victims didn’t sit well with the Utah Board of Pardons.  They’ve refused to schedule release until he serves at least another thirty years.  He is eligible for parole in 2047.

But for those willing to get treatment in prison there’s the possibility of rehabilitation.  According to Kersey these rapists learn empathy and are taught how to recognize trigger points to avoid temptation.

“I obviously learned what my triggers are,” said Christian Poole, at his August parole hearing. “I learned what my risk factors are.  I learned how my destructive work and how I can lessen my chances of re-offending.”

Timothy Irish also went through sex offender treatment.

“They hit us hard on empathy, just how much of effect my decisions had on other people,” he told his hearing officer.

A rapist can leave prison once their term is complete but sex offender treatment is mandatory.

“We attempt to fill their treatment tool box with necessary coping skills to function without committing a re-offense but it’s certainly not 100%,” Kersey said. “But the community at large will always have this unknown fear whether someone who will be moving into their neighborhood, will commit again.”