A 23-year-old man who beat and raped two women at knife point in their Cleveland Park homes was sentenced yesterday to at least 54 years in prison by a D.C. Superior Court judge who said he could not understand "anyone raping anyone."
"For God sakes I don't know how anyone could enjoy that," Judge Robert M. Scott told Michael Anthony Jones before imposing the sentence of 54 years to life.
A jury convicted Jones in February of raping the two women, who described on the witness stand how Jones held them at knife point and beat and blindfolded them. One woman testified that she was making her bed with her children on April 22 when Jones entered the house and raped her after forcing her children to a downstairs room where they screamed as she was being assaulted.
The other woman, who stared at Jones throughout yesterday's sentencing, testified that she passed out as Jones choked her after raping her.
Jones "victimized" and "terrorized" the area for months, prosecutor William Martin said in urging the judge to give Jones the maximum sentence of more than 100 years to life.
In addition to the two rapes, Jones was convicted on a number of armed robbery, burglary and theft charges in connection with his assaults on the two women. Also, Jones was convicted of assault with intent to kill for his attack on the second woman.
"She is now a prisoner in her own home," Martin said, describing how at "1 or 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon she sits in her home alone with her alarm on."
Jones appeared only to breathe more quickly as Scott began to announce the prison term for each of the 14 counts.
Jones, who took the stand in his defense at the trial, did not make a statement yesterday. His lawyer, Jeffrey Lewis, said he hoped that the judge would take into account the fact that Jones was a "heavy PCP user."
"No one made him take that PCP," Scott snapped as Lewis said he was not offering the information as an "excuse" but rather in the hope that it might offer some explanation.
"It's not an excuse," Scott responded.
PCP, Lewis continued, can cause "wildly aberrant behavior months and years after it's been taken."
In imposing the sentence, Scott called Jones' trial alibi "about as ill-conceived as I can imagine."
"This defendant will be 77 before he is eligible for parole," Scott continued.
"Let him be committed."