Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Teen rapist gets 10-year sentence

Karlovich required to serve 32 months before parole eligibility

Express Staff Writer

Eighteen-year-old Mark Karlovich is shown here in March when he pleaded guilty to the rape of two 14-year-old girls. Karlovich was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison, with 32 months to be served before he is eligible for parole. Photo by Willy Cook

A near-capacity crowd of about 100 people attended a sentencing hearing Monday for 18-year-old Mark Allen Karlovich to witness him get a 10-year prison sentence for raping two 14-year-old girls in late 2012.
    Many in the audience were friends or family of the victims. A smaller group, including family and friends, was there to support Karlovich.
    Under the sentence issued by 5th District Court Judge Robert Elgee, Karlovich will be required to spend 32 months in prison before he is eligible for parole.
    Elgee said he was mainly displeased with Karlovich because the second rape occurred while Karlovich was free on bond in the first case.
    “While Mr. Karlovich was out on bond, he was to have no contact with underage girls,” Elgee said. “You were told not to have physical contact with any underage girl. You were told not to go there, but you went there. That’s what makes this a very aggravating case.”
    Karlovich pleaded guilty to felony rape in March for having sexual intercourse with both girls. With the guilty plea, a second count of rape was dismissed. Karlovich did not admit to forcing the girls to have sex with him, though both claimed that he did.
    The first crime occurred on Oct. 10 at Karlovich’s home in Hailey. He was arrested and then released on $3,000 bail. The second crime occurred on Dec. 29 at the second victim’s home in Hailey.
    Karlovich was arrested again and bond was set at $500,000. He has remained incarcerated since.
    Both girls offered victim’s statements at Monday’s hearing, saying that Karlovich had forever altered their lives.
    One girl said she now becomes afraid at night and has to sleep with a light on, and that she has been subjected to scorn at school.
    “I will have to live with this every day for the rest of my life,” the girl said. “Mark Karlovich has changed my life in a way that cannot be changed back.”
    The second girl said that what happened altered her “sense of identity.”
    “I am not the girl I once was,” she said. “I never asked for this.”
    The mother of one of the girls testified that her daughter has “suffered greatly,” both “physically and emotionally.”
“My daughter is so strong and brave, but I know she is hurting inside,” the mother said.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback described Karlovich as “not a normal young man.”
“He won’t go to treatment for this,” Fredback said. “He doesn’t think he’s got a problem.”
Two other women testified on behalf of Karlovich, saying he was a good family friend and that they would not be afraid to leave him alone in the company of their own daughters.
    Defense attorney Douglas Nelson asked that his client be placed on the state “rider program,” under which convicted felons get a chance at rehabilitation with the Idaho Department of Correction for up to a year.
    Nelson said the court should not be swayed by pressure from supporters of the victims and that Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback has been pressured to ask for a harsh sentence.
    “I know that he has been getting a lot of crap from the two families involved in this case,” Nelson said.
    Nelson further said that one of the victims had lied to police on several occasions, but that Karlovich had been truthful.
    Rather than a case of forced sex, Nelson said, the case should be viewed as “consensual sex between two high school students.”
    Karlovich told the court that he felt “nothing but remorse.”
    “I never meant to hurt any of you and I hope you will forgive me,” he said.

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