On Thursday in court, Bill Woodbury publicly acknowledged his actions and apologized.

AUBURN – Frank “Bill” Woodbury Jr. would have caused less harm if he beat his daughter with a bat and broke her bones.

That is what Justice Thomas E. Delahanty II said Thursday before sentencing the former owner of Mixer’s bar to eight years in prison for raping his teenage daughter over a three-year period.

“The details of this case are deviant, vile and sordid,” said Delahanty, calling Woodbury’s case one of the most disturbing in his 30 years on the bench.

Woodbury, 41, has admitted that he had a sexual relationship with his daughter that began when she was 14 and continued for three years.

The girl, now 17, reported the abuse to police in January 2002, and Woodbury was eventually charged with three counts of gross sexual assault.

Woodbury pleaded guilty to two counts in April. But it wasn’t until Thursday that he publicly acknowledged his actions and apologized.

A thin man with gray hair, Woodbury told Justice Delahanty that he has felt ashamed since the first day that he had sex with his daughter.

“I will never ask for forgiveness because I cannot forgive myself. I taught her to hate and no kid should be taught that,” he said. “If there was something I could do to change that, I would. I was supposed to be her father. I was supposed to teach her good things.”

According to court records, the girl was an infant when Woodbury and her mother split up. She was 13 when she met him again. She moved into his home a year later.

Shortly after, said Assistant District Attorney Deborah Potter Cashman, Woodbury started giving his daughter alcohol until she was so drunk that she passed out. Then he had sex with her.

The girl realized what was happening when she started to experience vaginal bleeding.

“Mr. Woodbury told her not to worry because, whatever happened, happened because he loved her,” Cashman said.

Both sides acknowledged that some of the sexual encounters were consensual. But, due to the girl’s age and her relationship with Woodbury, even those instances were illegal. In addition, Cashman said, Woodbury physically abused the girl and repeatedly threatened to kill himself if she left him or told anyone.

The abuse continued until January 2002, Cashman said, when Woodbury’s daughter told her mom, and they went to police with a tape of a cellular phone conversation during which Woodbury apologized to the girl for what he had done.

Woodbury was originally charged with three counts of gross sexual assault, but one of the charges was dropped as part of plea agreement with the state.

At the time of his guilty plea in April, Woodbury still placed some blame on the girl. He told police that she was “unnaturally obsessed” with him. On Thursday, however, he accepted full responsibility.

“I did all of that to her,” he said. “It was all me.”

Delahanty acknowledged Woodbury’s remorse as a mitigating factor. He also acknowledged statements by several of Woodbury’s relatives and friends.

After hearing those people describe Woodbury as a kind man who would do anything for anyone and who often gave his time and money to charity, Delahanty concluded that many of Woodbury’s friends were not aware of his other life.

“I think most people are largely unaware of his dark side,” Delahanty said. “I think there are two Mr. Woodburys here.”

Woodbury could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison – 10 for each count. But the state and his attorney, Leonard Sharon, agreed in April to a cap of eight years. Cashman asked Thursday that he serve the entire eight years, followed by six years of probation. Delahanty accepted her recommendation.

The judge also ordered Woodbury to pay up to $10,000 in restitution to his daughter for psychological counseling.

Woodbury co-owned Mixer’s, which is in the Sabattus Mall on Route 126, for about 10 years. His partner bought Woodbury’s share in April.

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