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Man says victim ’emotionally and psychologically abused’ him before judge hands down sentence

Crime Watch

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Corey Ray Kent appears over Zoom from the Bonneville County Jail for his sentencing

IDAHO FALLS — A man facing a lengthy list of charges described himself as a victim just before a judge sentenced him Monday.

Corey Ray Kent, 28, was ordered by District Judge Dane H. Watkins Jr. to spend up to a year on a rider program. Kent pleaded guilty to felony first-degree stalking and felony unlawful possession of a firearm. For the stalking charge, Watkins gave an underlying sentence of two to five years in prison and one to five years in prison on the weapon charge.

A rider is when a judge sends a person to prison for up to a year to undergo different treatment programs. When the inmate has completed the program, the judge can then decide to send them back to prison or release them on probation.

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“I know what I did and it was wrong,” Kent said. “I know I caused (the victim) stress, but no one looks at the stress I was under.”

In August 2019, Kent was involved in a stand-off with Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputies after failing to follow the terms of his release on bail. He’d been involved in a felony stalking situation that involved a divorce and custody of a child. Kent had multiple run-ins with deputies for violations of protection orders.

“I let everyone else’s actions control me, which wasn’t right, but my whole world was taken away from me,” Kent said. “On the domestic violence website, it says using a person’s child against them is considered domestic violence. That’s what happened with me. I was emotionally and psychologically abused.”

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Throughout the hearing, Kent shook his head in disagreement with many points Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Alayne Bean and the victim made. As Kent spoke, the victim expressed disagreement with things he said.

“I think the responses I saw between the two of you is indicative (of) issues that go beyond the criminal proceedings,” Watkins said. “In this case, it involves this young child you care for dearly.”

Watkins explained that as the victim spoke during the sentencing, she shared her legitimate fears due to Kent’s stalking.

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“The way I’m going to interpret all of the defendant’s statement is he, in fact, has recognized his wrongdoing, he has perceptions and I still think there is work to be done with him,” Watkins said.

This won’t be Kent’s first stint on a rider program. In 2012, Watkins sent Kent to a rider program after a felony conviction for burglary and unlawful discharge of a firearm. According to the Idaho Department of Correction, Kent stayed on probation until 2018.

“I think the court would be justified in sending the defendant to prison on this case,” Watkins said. “That is because of prior opportunities in the past and because we are back together again because of two very serious offenses.”

However, Watkins said he wanted to give Kent another chance on a rider to see how he could perform on probation in the future. Kent and his defense attorney, Neal Randall, requested he be placed on probation.

In addition to the rider program, Watkins ordered Kent to pay $2,000 in fines.

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