Ex-foster mother, son sentenced

Mary Bernard, Vernal Express

A Vernal man and his mother were each sentenced last week in a case that involved the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl.

George Blaine Stone was sentenced last Tuesday in 8th District Court to three years to life in prison for one count of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony, and one to 15 years in prison for one count of forcible sex abuse, a second-degree felony.

Stone, 46, was initially charged with three counts of rape, a first-degree felony, for plying a 16-year-old girl with vodka until she passed out and then having sex with her at least three times on New Year’s Eve.

In April, Stone entered an Alford plea to the reduced charges, a move that allowed him to resolve the case despite his self-professed inability to recall the sexual assaults due to his own intoxication.

Stone’s mother, Nola Fortine, also faced charges in connection with the incident.

Uintah County prosecutors alleged that Fortine, who was a state-licensed foster parent on Jan. 1, discovered her son and the victim in bed together after the sexual assault had occurred. Rather than report what she’d seen, authorities say she sat the girl down and coached her about what to say if she was questioned about the incident.

That alleged conduct led prosecutors to charge Fortine, 66, with witness tampering, a third-degree felony, and failure to report child abuse, a class B misdemeanor. Fortine pleaded guilty June 7 to the misdemeanor charge, in exchange for the dismissal of the felony charge.

On Wednesday, Eighth District Judge Clark McClellan sentenced Fortine to a suspended six-month jail term and placed her on court probation for one year. She must also pay a $400 fine.

The state Division of Child and Family Services removed three children in foster care from Fortine’s home the same day the victim reported the sexual assault. The state has since stripped Fortine of her foster care license.