Suspected Serial Rapist Sentenced
Friday, May 25th 2007, 8:39 AM CDT
He terrorized women for four years. Now, Tulsa's serial rapist Gary Graham will spend the rest of his life behind bars. We were the first to tell you about Graham's plea deal Thursday night. The News On 6â€™s Ashli Sims reports now, the deal is final, and Graham is heading to prison.
"Today's plea brings justice to these victims and back to the community," said Tulsa County district attorney Tim Harris.
Several young women and their families filed into court with red eyes and tear-stained faces. Prosecutors say this deal was for them. All of the victims were represented in the 13 counts Gary Graham was convicted of, and they don't have to go through the pain of a trial.
He snuck into victim's homes, when they thought they were safe, and violated them. Now, prosecutors say Graham will never have the chance to do harm again.
"These two life sentences in our calculations will ensure that this defendant will die in the penitentiary, and he will never hurt another citizen in the Tulsa community," Harris.
Graham was arrested in 2006, accused of sexually assaulting a dozen young women and girls, one as young as two years old. He long maintained his innocence, but police tied Graham to several cases through DNA. Ultimately, that's what Graham's lawyer said changed his client's plea.
"After we sat down and explained the reality of the situation to Mr. Graham, he just didnâ€™t see the need to go forward," said defense attorney Kevin Adams.
Graham never admitted guilt.
"He concedes there's enough evidence for a jury to convict him, if believed by a jury, but, yes, he maintains his innocence," said Adams.
He pled no contest to 13 counts, including first-degree rape, attempted rape, lewd molestation and first-degree burglary. A judge found him guilty, and he will now serve two life sentences back to back, plus 180 years to be served at the same time.
"But I think these negotiations reach justice and achieve for us our ultimate goal, and that is that this violent sexual predator won't hurt anybody ever again in our community," Harris said.
Graham's attorney says his client wanted to save his family the embarrassment of going through with a trial.
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