Convicted rapist sentenced to 9 yearsRape is a difficult thing to wash off, a woman said Thursday in Goodhue County District Court.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
Rape is a difficult thing to wash off, a woman said Thursday in Goodhue County District Court.
"I remember scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing away the filth and the humiliation and the disgust," said the 46-year-old, who saw a jury convict her assailant in March.
On Thursday, First District Court Judge Kevin Mark sentenced the man, 40-year-old Milton Thomas, to nine years — at least six of which must be spent in prison. A jury convicted Thomas, a Level 3 sex offender, of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Thomas was released from Minnesota Correctional Facility-Lino Lakes in 2007. He was no longer required to report to a probation officer since all of his sentences had expired.
According to charges last year, Thomas sexually assaulted the woman in August 2008 at a Red Wing apartment. The woman was babysitting at the time while the child slept on a nearby couch.
Thomas had not registered as a sex offender in Red Wing after moving in with his girlfriend.
Reading from an impact statement Thursday, the victim said the effects linger. The woman said she can't sleep in the dark, on her back or through the night.
"I feel in my sleep like I have a hand over my mouth," she said, referring to memories from the night of the assault.
Thomas was first convicted of a sex crime in 1987, followed by two more convictions over the next 16 years, Assistant Goodhue County Attorney Erin Kuester said at the hearing.
Kuester said "it is not a surprise" that he re-offended.
"Mr. Thomas' actions are like those of a predator circling his prey," she said at the hearing.
Thomas opted not to speak at the hearing. His attorney, public defender John Gavin, said Thomas maintained his innocence and will appeal the case.
Gavin reiterated claims made during the trial that the act was consensual. He said the woman's statement Thursday was "akin to Icarus expressing surprise that his wings have been singed" — an apparent reference to the Greek mythological character who fell to the sea after his wings were melted by the sun.
In his decision, Mark threw out a $30,000 fine. The sentence also calls for Thomas to provide a DNA sample and to register as a predatory sex offender.
Kuester said she was not surprised to hear Thomas will pursue an appeal.
"I think it's an appropriate sentence based on the violent act he was convicted of," she said.