Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rape Victims Face Attacker at His Hearing; Judge Reschedules Sentencing; He Faces 25 to 45 Years in Prison under His Plea Deal

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rape Victims Face Attacker at His Hearing; Judge Reschedules Sentencing; He Faces 25 to 45 Years in Prison under His Plea Deal

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL PINKHAM

Three rape victims showed up in court Thursday to face their attacker, an admitted Jacksonville serial rapist scheduled for sentencing.

One lost her brother to homicide just two nights ago, prosecutors said.

Another broke down while reading a statement to the judge about her continued fears and nightmares since the violent rape two years ago.

Through it all, Milton Boston Jr. stared at the floor and offered no apology. He was charged with raping 14 women near downtown but pleaded guilty to three counts, a deal prosecutors said was struck to spare the victims the ordeal of a trial. Police said he preyed on impoverished women, reasoning that no one would notice.

"Their only crime is that they were poor, and that's not a crime at all," said Assistant State Attorney Julie Schlax. "The victims in this case, because of how savagely this man attacked them, deserved at least a weak apology."

After hearing from the victims and Boston's mother, Circuit Judge Michael Weatherby rescheduled sentencing for Monday morning. Boston, 25, faces 25 to 45 years in prison under his plea deal.

"There are other victims. That's how I know he'll do it again," one woman told Weatherby, urging the maximum sentence.

Another testified Boston not only raped her, he also robbed her of "the last money I had to feed my children."

"I put on the happy face for my babies, but I continue to have nightmares," she said. "I wake up in the middle of the night screaming and gasping for breath from nightmares of him choking and raping me over and over again."

Retired Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Detective Rusty Rodgers said police began to link the rapes together because Boston used the same tactics to lure each woman. He would contact them on the street, usually in the early morning, and tell them how dangerous it was. …

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