An articulate teenager, his family members and supporters shed lots of tears when he was sentenced to prison for having sex with a highly intoxicated 12-year-old girl at a March party in Bullhead City. The emotional hearing unfolded September 12 before Mohave County Court Commissioner Billy Sipe.
Ethan Kabat, 19, faced a 5-15 year prison term after previously pleading guilty to reduced charges of attempted child molestation. Defense attorney Shawn Hamp repeatedly used the words “disturbing” and “tragic” as he detailed facets of the case.
Hamp noted that the victim was sexually active at the age of 12 and that she brought alcohol to the party and willingly engaged in sexual activity with Kabat and two other male teens. “My client is not a predator and he shouldn’t be punsihed as one,” Hamp said.
Kabat, nonetheless, apologized to the Court, his family and friends for his involvement.
“I’m here to accept responsibility for the decisions I have made,” Kabat told Judge Sipe. He asked for leniency so he could resume his life following his prison term.
Prosecutor Greg McPhillips asked for an aggravated prison sentence. He said it was particularly bothersome that images of sexual activity involving the girl were shared through social media, further demeaning the victim.
Judge Sipe opted for the minimum punishment possible under the plea agreement. He said kabat displayed dignity and maturity and he imposed a five year prison term followed by extended probation.