FRESNO, Calif. - A Fresno man was sentenced to 1,503 years in prison for raping his teenage daughter over a four-year period, a case that stands in stark contrast to a recent controversial ruling in a Montana rape and incest case.
The 41-year-old California man was sentenced Friday to the longest-known prison sentence in Fresno Superior Court history, the Fresno Bee reported.
The Associated Press and CBS News are avoiding naming the man because it could identify his daughter.
In announcing the punishment, Judge Edward Sarkisian Jr. told the man he is a “serious danger to society” and noted that he had never shown remorse and has blamed his daughter for his predicament.
The man’s daughter was first sexually abused by a family friend but instead of protecting her, he turned her into “a piece of property,” prosecutor Nicole Galstan said.
The victim was raped two to three times a week from May 2009 to May 2013, when the girl got the courage to leave him, Galstan said.
A jury in September found him guilty of 186 felony counts of sexual assault, including dozens of counts of rape of a minor.
“When my father abused me, I was young. I had no power, no voice. I was defenseless,” said the daughter, who now is 23 years old. She also told the judge that her father never has shown remorse for her pain and suffering.
The man turned down two plea deals. Before his preliminary hearing, if he had admitted his guilt, prosecutors would have recommended 13 years in prison. He rejected the offer. Then before his trial, he was offered 22 years in prison if he admitted his guilt. He declined that offer, saying he should be released from jail for the time he already had served, Sarkisian said before announcing the sentence.
“He ruined her teenage years and made her feel like it was her fault,” Galstan said in arguing for the maximum sentence.
Some observers are comparing the outcome in the Fresno case to a recent one in Montana, where a man who raped his 12-year-old daughter was not sent to prison. Instead the judge handed down a 30-year suspended sentence after the man pleaded guilty to incest and ordered him to spend 60 days in jail, giving him credit for 17 days already served.
The judge in the Montana case has come under fire for the ruling. District Judge John McKeon defended himself against criticism, saying a plea agreement that recommended a 25-year minimum sentence allowed for a lesser one, depending on the results of a psychosexual evaluation. He said that evaluation found the defendant could be safely treated and supervised in the community. McKeon also notes the victim’s mother and grandmother asked that the defendant not be sentenced to prison.