Though a St. George man had his life-without-parole sentence overturned by the Utah Court of Appeals, he won't be free anytime soon.
Marc Clifton Bryant will spend at least 32 1/2 years and up to life in prison for raping and torturing a 15-year-old girl with a screwdriver and a blowtorch in 2004, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
In an unusual move, it was state attorneys who asked for the life-without-parole sentence overturned. The attorneys did so after discovering life without parole wasn't a sentencing option for aggravated kidnapping when Bryant committed the crime. The appeals court sided with the state, and ordered a new sentencing hearing for Bryant.
Fifth District Judge James Shumate issued the new sentence for Bryant, 52, on March 20 of this year. Documents confirming the sentence were filed Wednesday.
Bryant met the victim, a daughter of one of his friends, when she was 11 years old. He raped her for the first time when she was 15 and subsequently suggested the girl and her mother move in with him to reduce expenses, according to court documents. Bryant attacked the girl after she said she needed to go to school early to work on a science project. He first handcuffed her to the bed and tortured her all night long, including burning her face and arm with a screwdriver heated with a blowtorch, then drove her to a remote area and continued to beat her. He finally brought the girl home the next day, where he raped her again before showing the girl's injuries to her mother.
After he was charged, Bryant fled. He was convicted in absentia and appeared on "America's Most Wanted" before he was arrested in 2008 at a Golden Corral restaurant in Jacksonville, Fla. He was sentenced the following year.
Bryant was charged with aggravated kidnapping, three counts of rape, one count of child abuse, one count of tampering with a witness, one count of criminal solicitation and one count of threat of violence.
Shumate sentenced Bryant to 15 years to life in the Utah State Prison for the kidnapping charge, and five years to life for each of the rape charges, in addition to one to 15 years for the child abuse charge. He was also ordered to serve up to five years for the tampering with a witness charge, a year for the criminal solicitation and six months for the threat of violence charge. All of the charges were ordered to run consecutive, and a fine of $58,500 was imposed.