Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A lot to catch up on!

Since life has been so crazy, I just haven't had time to update, and there is a lot of updating to be done.

First off, the sentencing. Long story short, the guy who attacked and sexually assaulted me has been sentenced to 60 years in prison, of which he must serve at least 30. The time can be reduced if he is well-behaved in prison. Judging by his past behavior in prison, I'm thinking it will be closer to 60 years.

The hearing was a very surreal experience. It was like the trial all over again. This time I had written up a short statement. I didn't have to take the stand again; I just sat up front before the judge and read my statement. I managed not to cry somehow, but my heart was pounding so loudly that I actually thought it was going to explode. I was shaking like a leaf as well.

I got through it, and then the prosecutors presented some other "aggravators," that is, things that can give the judge reason to lean more toward the maximum sentence. They called a police officer from the city where Murphy committed his previous sexual assault to testify about how the cases were similar. It was chilling, indeed, one of the most chilling parts of the entire case. I knew Murphy had done something similar to another person, but what I didn't know is that it was a 15-year-old girl who he followed home from summer school, forced into the woods, and assaulted. Everything was the same, down to the dirty things he made her say. How he only served six years for that, I'll never understand. NEVER. It was sickening. Less than a year after he got out, he did it again. To me.

Murphy offered up some "mitigators," that is, things that might incline the judge toward leniency. All the while maintaining his innocence, he handed over a thick sheaf of papers from his high school counselor, said he had cooperated with the police, and said that "the attacker" had repeatedly said he was sorry throughout the attack (a lie). Another one was that I had not suffered any serious physical injury.

The judge did not see any of these, except possibly his cooperation with police, as mitigators. He pointed out that the records from the high school counselor basically just said he was anti-social, that Murphy had said "Sorry" exactly once, when I, blindfolded, stumbled while being forced into the woods, and that serious physical injury would have been an aggravator, but that the lack of it was not a mitigator. Right on.

There are all sorts of details that I'm leaving out, but that was about it. The judge sentenced him to 60 years, which was the full sentence that the prosecutors had asked for, and recommended that it be served in a maximum security facility (which evidently is not something he usually does). Goodbye Murphy.

Two days later, we flew to Philly for the marathon. Coming soon: my Philly race report.
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