A Bellevue man received the maximum prison sentence this week for abducting and repeatedly raping a Vermilion woman.
Groton Township resident Brian M. Jury, 39, was sentenced Monday to 36 years in prison. Erie County Common Pleas Judge Roger Binette handed down the term plus a $15,000 fine based on the recommendation of Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter.
"That's the maximum on each offense. They would run consecutively," Baxter told the Reflector.
Jury's trial started June 17 -- his 39th birthday -- and ended June 24 with closing statements from Baxter and defense attorney Jack Bradley. Two days after the trial ended, the defendant was found guilty of two counts each of abduction and rape and one charge of felonious assault.
"It was outrageous conduct," Baxter said, quoting the judge's assessment of Jury's crimes.
The 31-year-old victim attended Jury's sentencing hearing Monday.
A victim's advocate read a prepared statement in which she told Jury "you, me and the man upstairs know you were going to take my life that day."
"She was just too emotional to read it," Baxter said.
"You put me through hell. That was the most scary thing that could've happened to anybody. I survived what you did to me and I am strong. I hope you go away for a long, long time," the victim wrote in her statement.
Baxter said the woman still has pain in her arm and one of her wrists from the way Jury restrained her and is having nightmares over her ordeal.
The woman was walking in the Lorain area about 9 a.m. Nov. 1 when Jury, whom she recognized, drove alongside her and offered her a ride. The defendant abducted her at gunpoint, took her to a small camper at his Strecker Road residence and raped her multiple times. The victim was bound with zip ties and gagged.
"She's still suffering physically, mentally and psychologically," Baxter told the Reflector.
Jury, who was credited with serving about 200 days in the Erie County Jail, testified the victim saw the small, silver gun that resembled a Derringer in a cup holder in his vehicle.
"He was trying to explain how she might have innocently seen the gun. No, she said, 'He pulled it out and pointed it at my brain,'" Baxter said.
After Jury left the woman in the camper, she managed to crawl out and rolled to the road, which was about 20 feet away. A passing female motorist found the naked victim on the side of Strecker Road.
The Lorain Police Department arrested Jury about 6:15 p.m. after a short chase in the city. Officers found the knife which contained the victim's DNA and which Jury used to threaten the victim and held to her cheek and throat.
Baxter said there's no doubt Jury planned to return to the camper and kill the woman.
"He wasn't going have a revelation, cut her loose and say 'my bad,'" the prosecutor said.
Jury was acquitted of attempted murder and three counts of rape. While jurors couldn't come to a unanimous decision on two counts of kidnapping, they convicted Jury of the lesser-included offense of abduction.
Baxter said he agrees with the judge who told Jury he has no remorse.
"His story was so contrived," the prosecutor said.
The defense tried to say there was a prior sexual relationship between Jury and the victim, with the defendant alleging the woman was a prostitute who was being paid for sex. Jury also accused the victim of stealing money from him.
"He still believes he only committed a misdemeanor. He believed it was unlawful restraint," Baxter said. "He lives in a different world ... and that shows he doesn't have any remorse."
The victim denied all of Jury's allegations during the nearly two-week trial. She testified she knew him on a casual basis and was trying to rent an apartment from him.
"(Their relationship) had nothing to do with sex, but everything to do with renting an apartment," Baxter said.
The prosecutor said it was evident Jury "choreographed his story to fit the evidence in his own away."