An apologetic Michael Lee Carpenter was sentenced to 95 years in prison yesterday for two rapes, one attempted rape and a series of burglaries he committed in Alexandria over the past five years.
"I'd like to tell the court and the victims I'm sorry," Carpenter said. "I realize I was wrong. I need some help."
Alexandria Circuit Court Judge Donald M. Haddock responded: "I'm truly sorry to have to sentence anybody to that kind of time, but with the problems you have, you can't be let loose."
Carpenter, 36, pleaded guilty on Feb. 6 after confessing to a bizarre pattern of intrusions into women's apartments. He told police that in almost every instance he entered the victims' apartments from balconies, took pictures from family albums and ate their food.
"If this young man had ever gotten some human attention, you would not have to make this hard decision today," defense attorney Bobby B. Stafford told the judge. "He is a sensitive, wounded individual."
But three of his victims, and Commonwealth's Attorney John E. Kloch, painted a different picture of Carpenter.
"The first emotion I had was complete disbelief, followed immediately by intense fear," one of the victims said yesterday, describing Carpenter's assault on her in 1984. "I thought I was going to die."
Carpenter was described by clinical psychologists who examined him before his trial as having an intelligence quotient between low-average and mild retardation.
Although he was found competent to stand trial, Kenneth B. Feigenbaum, a psychologist working for the city, wrote to the court that " . . . we have a pathetic man starved for affection and sexuality . . . . What sadistic rapist would behave as he did toward his victims?"
The minimum sentence would have been 37 years, according to Kloch, and the maximum two life sentences plus 110 years. Carpenter will be eligible to be considered for parole in 12 years.