A 28 year-old woman spent more than ten minutes telling the Court how her step-father sexually abused her over a five year period beginning when she was just nine years old. She cried through much of her presentation as she spoke about her life being ruined during the December 9 sentencing hearing for 60 year-old Michael Lepker.
“I remember laying there frozen in my own skin,” the victim recalled of the first time she was sexually abused. She told Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen that Lepker used her hundreds of times and deserves maximum punishment.
The woman said Lepker’s systematic mental, physical and sexual abuse, coupled with his threats to kill her, bought her silence during her torture and for twelve years more before she reported to police when she feared what Lepker might do to her young daughter.
“I need to know that no one will ever be assaulted by Michael Lepker again,” she said.
“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Lepker said, when provided his opportunity to address the Court.
The defendant’s former wife and his son fortified the step-daughter’s account of how Lepker used intimidation, fear and abuse to rule his household.
“He’s a bad person,” the son said, urging a lengthy prison term. “There is no reason for him to be on the street.”
Lepker previous pled guilty to two sex offense counts in exchange for a prison sentence between 15 and 27 years. Prosecutor Jacob Cote urged Judge Jantzen to impose maximum punishment.
“This defendant deserves to die in prison,” Cote said.
Judge Jantzen imposed the full 27 year prison sentence, followed by lifetime probation.