Judge meets Linden rapist's request for longer sentence
At the start of the week, victims of the so-called Linden area rapist were preparing for the first of what could have been four trials.
Now the case is over. After a sudden guilty plea, the man responsible for raping dozens of women was sentenced today to spend the rest of his life in jail.
After the hearing, a group of Robert Patton junior's victims celebrated. Holding white roses, the women hugged and celebrate the bittersweet moment.
A few minutes earlier common pleas judge Jennifer Brunner sentenced Patton to 68 years in jail. There's no chance of early release. In a plea agreement, Patton originally agreed to a 50 year sentence, but in court a tearful and apologetic Patton told the judge he never wanted to be released from prison. Judge Brunner then tacked on 18 years meaning Patton would have to live to be 108 to be released.
Candy brewer was one of Patton's 37 victims. She and others are relieved Patton got his wish.
The cheers follow 14 years of waiting for some victims.
During the sentencing hearing, Patton cried, admitted he destroyed lives and said he was sorry. Zella Easterling did not accept it,saying she does not believe he is sorry.
Victim brandy Willison doubts the sincerity of the apology, but is thankful for the confession.
The victims called the end of the case, a beginning, the start of a life where they no longer have to look over their shoulders, worried he might return.
One of Patton's last victims Diana Cunningham, the experience has evolved into a calling. She plans to study womens studies in college and work to prevent rape and help victims.