Rape survivors speak out after their attacker is sentenced to jail

Posted at 7:10 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 21:10:48-04

LOGAN, Utah -- Utah State University rape survivors spoke to FOX 13 News on camera after their perpetrator's sentencing on Tuesday.

USU student Jason Relopez, 28, was sentenced to one year in jail after admitting he raped two women.

The victims, who prefer the word "survivors" instead, Morgan Klinkowski and Victoria Hewlette look forward to never having to see him again.

"I was just excited it was over," Klinkowski said.

"It was really hard because I definitely don't feel like Jason Relopez got what he deserved, but I do finally feel like I can start moving on with my life," Hewlette said.

Hewlette and Klinkowski both have been strong throughout the courtroom process, from listening to brutal pretrial remarks from Relopez's attorney to reading the judge their final words on Tuesday in their letters.

"I was scared," said Klinkowski of Relopez after her rape. "I was scared of him.”

Klinkowski's attack happened in October 2014. Relopez sexually assaulted her at her apartment while they were doing homework together.

"He took it too far," Klinkowski told FOX 13. "I asked him to stop and he never did. Then after it was just... I cleaned up."

She cleaned up the evidence around her apartment but she couldn't clean up what sat on her mind for months. She finally had to say something.

Ten months later she did and so did another victim.

Hewlette also came forward to police telling them Relopez raped her in July of 2015 at a Sigma Chi Fraternity house party.

"It was the scariest thing I've ever been through. After he was done I prayed and counted until it was safe for me to leave the room," Hewlette said.

Along with his one year jail sentence, Relopez was required to admit that he raped both students. Both survivors said hearing those words from Relopez will help them move forward and they hope anyone else afraid to come forward will get the help they need.

"Knowing that you truly aren't alone," said Hewlette as she sent a message to those who have survived but are afraid to come forward. "The amount of people who have reached out to me have blessed my life because of this struggle, it's crazy."