A state appeals court panel Friday upheld a Hawthorne man’s 185-year-to-life state prison sentence for breaking into a woman’s Long Beach apartment as she slept and sexually assaulting her in September 2014.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that the sentence imposed on Deitrick Paul Richmond just over two years ago was cruel and unusual punishment.
“Here, appellant deliberately broke in on his sleeping victim and committed multiple acts of sexual aggression on her while she was alone, naked and vulnerable,” the appellate court justices found in their 21-page ruling. “Appellant followed up his sexual assaults by robbing the victim of multiple valuable items, including the cell phone she needed to call for assistance.”
Richmond was convicted in November 2016 of three counts of forcible rape, two counts of forcible oral copulation and one count each of first-degree burglary with a person present, first-degree residential robbery and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime.
Jurors also found true allegations that he used a knife during the Sept. 7, 2014, attack and that he committed a burglary with the intent to commit a sex crime.
The victim subsequently identified Richmond as her assailant, and DNA evidence linked him to the attack, according to Deputy District Attorney Kelly Kelley.
Richmond — who claimed he had consensual sex with the woman after meeting her as she walked down the street — was arrested in Hawthorne three days later.
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