Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Serial Rapist Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Term. Victims Recount the Terror, 'Hell' They Went Through

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Serial Rapist Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Term. Victims Recount the Terror, 'Hell' They Went Through

Article excerpt

One by one, each woman stood poised, imploring the judge for the harshest punishment she could impose. It was the sentencing hearing for the man who raped and robbed them, but in many ways on this day it was about the three victims.

Arthur Henderson did more than attack and terrorize them in January 2012, the women told the judge on Tuesday. When he stole their security and their dignity, he also robbed them of their livelihood, their identity and their womanhood.

"I didn't choose to do that. He took that from me," one victim said. "Now I'm dealing with the stench and the residue of Arthur Henderson."

Coming into court Tuesday, the women knew justice had been served -- no matter how many years it would be decided that Henderson should spend in prison. When his verdict was read last month, the three held hands and cried together, a bond that formed from the unimaginable terror they shared.

Judge Donna Jo McDaniel sentenced the 39-year-old Henderson to 61 to 122 years in prison for raping the women at gunpoint in Ross and Hopewell. Judge McDaniel called Henderson a sociopath, a serial rapist, convict, and a danger to the community who has no regard for anyone -- including his own children.

"This is one of the most horrible cases I have ever seen in my life," she said.

In October 2011, three months before she was attacked, one victim was a carefree, spirited newlywed pursuing a master's degree in social work and looking forward to traveling solo on an upcoming trip to visit a friend.

Since the rape, she told the court she suffers from post- traumatic stress disorder, night terrors, bouts of depression, panic attacks and no self-worth.

"On Jan. 7, 2011, I experienced hell ... I was tortured and imprisoned in my own home -- helpless and alone," she said. "I accepted that I would die that day."

The victim's husband and her mother also spoke to the court about the toll the rape has taken.

The father of another victim, his voice breaking, told Henderson he wasn't fit for society and never would be.

"You are less than a man," he told Henderson.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette does not identify victims of sexual assaults. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.