Sunday, October 25, 2009

Repeat criminal sentenced to 11 1/2 years for rape of University of Arizona student

A man who raped a University of Arizona student in 2007 was sentenced to 11 1/2 years in prison Friday, October 16, by Pima County Superior Court Judge Christopher Browning. Thirty-eight year old Deguan Lamar Lee faced a sentence of 3 to 12 1/2 years on the kidnapping count and up to 3 3/4 years on the robbery count, added after Lee took the victim's cell phone.

On April 12, 2007, the student returned to the Manzanita-Mohave dormitory after having dinner with some friends. When she entered the dorm, she saw a man standing by the elevators and, uncomfortable, took the stairs.

Moments later, the student left her room to go to the bathroom, and the man pushed her into the bathroom, punched her in the face repeatedly and digitally penetrated her twice. He then grabbed her cell phone and left. Witnesses who came to check on the commotion ran into the man as he left the bathroom, and he told them, "Everything is OK."

Police arrested Lee, who was not a UA student, two years later when his DNA was linked to the case.  
Lee had a history of being "overly aggressive in pursuing women," according to Deputy Pima County Attorney Anita Simons. Simons asked for an aggravated sentence based of this and Lee's violation of probation for drug offenses.  
According to Simons, these incdients include unwanted sexual attention by Lee gaginst his daughter's teacher, and inappropriate touching of a girl's buttocks at a dance school parking lot. He "either does not understand or refuses to acknowledge that these women didn't invite his behavior," according to the prosecutor.
In a letter to the judge, the victim said it took her more than a month before she could use a public restroom, and when she finally used the dorm's restrooms, she took a pair of scissors and someone with her. She also couldn't sleep in her dorm room after the incident; she slept at friends' homes or at her mother's house.

At the end of the semester, the student said, she transferred schools, but she still has nightmares and crying jags. She often wakes up in the middle of the night and has to double-check the locks on her doors and windows. She sometimes feels her heart racing when she notices the bump on her nose and the scars on her lips.
Lee will have to register as a sex offender and have his DNA taken, since the kidnapping was found to be with sexual motivation.

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