Judge Stephen Kistler’s courtroom was silent Tuesday morning as two of three victims read impact statements before Michael Kurtanic was sentenced after his jury trial.
Kurtanic, 37, of Stillwater, was present during the statements given by the children. “It messed up how I look at the world,” the first child told the court. He said he loved school and learning new things, but because of Kurtanic homeschooling him, he no longer enjoys it.
The child told Kistler he sometimes still cries at night because of the abuse. “The things that he did, scares me a lot,” he said. The child told Kistler he is “relieved” Kurtanic is going to prison.
The next child to read his statement told Kistler he was a good kid before Kurtanic entered his life. He told the court he couldn’t tell anyone because of threats made by Kurtanic. Lastly, the child said he didn’t understand why Kurtanic chose to hurt them.
Kurtanic was found guilty of three counts of child sexual abuse and one count of child abuse in March.
The jury recommended three life sentences for the child sexual abuse charges and five years for the child abuse charge, along with fines.
Kurtanic’s attorney, Royce Hobbs, asked the judge to consider suspending a portion of the life sentence because of his current age and the age he will be if he is released from prison. “Every human being is entitled to help,” Hobbs said.
Assistant District Attorney Debra Vincent asked the judge to stick with the sentence recommended by the jury. She also said that it is “unfortunate” that men are being imprisoned until an elderly age for abusing children.
Kistler found Kurtanic guilty of all four charges and went with the recommendation of three life sentences and five years. They will run concurrently with one another, which means they will run together at the same time, versus consecutively, which would mean one charge has to be served before another can begin.
Kurtanic will have to serve 36 ½ years in prison before he is eligible for parole, but that doesn’t guarantee he will be released. Kurtanic waived his right to stay in the Payne County Jail for 10 days and he plans on appealing his sentence. Vincent and Hobbs were not available for comments.