A Rogers County man pleaded guilty Thursday to trying to rape a utility worker, Robin Priest, who was working at his home. A judge sentenced Gary Sumter to one year in prison and eight years of probation, and he’ll have to register as a sex offender for life.
Priest says this has been a long journey, and she thought about giving up. She says she kept fighting against Sumter so no other woman has to go through this.
"I was just there to do my job,” Priest says.
It's been eight months since Priest says she went through the scariest moment of her life. Investigators say while she was at Sumter's house, locating utility lines, Sumter kept making inappropriate comments.
Priest says her co-worker left the job site in his own car, and she stayed to finish up the paperwork in her work truck.
"The next thing I know, he is in my truck. He's between me and the steering wheel.
"It wasn't a long time, but it felt like forever. He's a big man,” says Priest.
Investigators say Sumter had his hands around her neck.
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Priest says it got to the point where she felt she had to pretend to comply, just for a chance to get away.
"Maybe get him out of the way for a minute. Maybe I could get in a better position to get the seat belt latched. Maybe he would back up a little bit,” says Priest. “When that wasn't working, it was just - you put up the fight."
Priest says she was able to get away after her co-worker noticed something wasn't right, and came back. She tells me she knew she couldn't give up. Now she feels relief, knowing Sumter will always have sex offender label attached to his name.
"I wanted something to follow him around,” says Priest. “I think he thought I would back down long before this. So I didn't let him win the first time ,and I wasn't going to let him win this time."
Sumter will have to serve at least eight and a half months of his sentence before he can be on probation.