LOCK HAVEN - Domenique Thomas Wilson, 25, of Philadelphia was sentenced to 70 to 196 years in prison Monday for the February 2009 assault on three Lock Haven University students, two of whom were raped numerous times.
Wilson had been convicted at jury trial in March in Clinton County Court of 37 criminal counts in connection with the attack on the women, which police say lasted four to five hours and included repeated sexual assaults.
"The court concludes the defendant is evil and should never have the opportunity to commit these crimes again," Judge Craig Miller said in handing down the penalty.
District Attorney Michael Salisbury spoke strongly for a sentence in the aggravated range, noting the crimes will have a lifetime impact on the victims and shocked the sensibilities of the community so that it will remember the violence, the fear that it caused and the tense days between criminal act and arrest, for many years to come.
The most serious charges included three counts of rape, four counts of indecent deviate sexual intercourse and five counts of unlawful restraint.
Wilson, standing at the podium in traditional orange prison garb and towering over the attorneys and other officials situated at the bench, declined to say anything in his own defense or plead for leniency.
His attorney, Todd Fiore of Philadelphia, also noted the serious nature of the crimes but added that a slim prior criminal record and a first-ever suggestion that abuse occurred in Wilson's childhood should combine to create an "incentive to rehabilitate."
While the pre-sentence investigation offered no evidence that Wilson might have been abused as a youngster, Fiore said, "My gut tells me my client wasn't completely forthcoming in his comments ... There's usually something in the perpetrator's past that triggers this behavior ... Something had to trigger that awful night. I'm asking the court to fashion a sentence that allows my client to see light at the end of the tunnel."
Miller noted that Wilson could not be classified as a sexually violent predator, based upon an evaluation by a Sexual Offender Assessment Board, but did receive a penalty enhancement based upon the use of a deadly weapon for the crime.
The verdict came 13 months after the highly-publicized crimes sent shockwaves through the community because of their severe nature, and with no suspect apprehended until Wilson was arrested nearly three weeks after the attacks.
In Philadelphia, published reports state DNA tests have linked Wilson to three sexual assaults there, and Salisbury said he still faces criminal prosecution based on those allegations.
In each instance, the victims were threatened with a knife, bound with masking tape and, or appliance cords and several items were stolen, including laptops, ATM cards and cell phones, various Philadelphia media outlets report.
As to the local crime for which Wilson was sentenced, police allege Wilson entered a Lock Haven apartment on Feb. 1, threatening three female Lock Haven University students with a knife, holding them captive for hours, raping two of them, stealing cell phones and debit cards, and withdrawing money from their bank accounts.
Felony charges are pending against Wilson in an apparent escape attempt Feb. 20 at the local prison.
Corrections officials said Wilson tried to remove the caulking from around a small window in his cell and then tried to kick out the window.
Wilson had a sheet tied to his bed, which police believe he planned to use to scale the outside wall.