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RAPIST SENTENCED TO 700 YEARS, PLUS 11 LIFE SENTENCES.

Byline: Janet Gilmore Daily News Staff Writer

It took Sean Patrick Mitchell just three months to rape, kidnap and rob 14 women.

He'll need more than a lifetime in prison to pay for those crimes.

Mitchell was sentenced Monday to 700 years in prison and an additional 11 life sentences - what authorities said could be a state record term for such crimes.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert L. Perry described the sentence simply as appropriate, given the nature of the crimes and their number.

``His actions are extreme for their number - extreme for the number of victims and for the vast emotional devastation and havoc wreaked by the defendant. He is a sexual predator and serious danger to society,'' Perry said.

Mitchell yelled at the judge, claiming he was biased and sentencing the wrong man.

``I didn't rape anybody! I didn't kidnap anybody!'' Mitchell shouted and shifted in his chair. ``You are crazy!''

The 36-year-old Mitchell was convicted in January of attacking and robbing the women. From March to June 1994, Mitchell approached women at gunpoint as they got in or out of their cars in Hollywood and Los Angeles' Westside. He forced them to drive to isolated areas or a motel, where he took their money, jewelry and repeatedly sexually assaulted them.

Seven of the women returned to face Mitchell on Monday, wiping away tears and recalling their fears that he would kill them.

``There's really no words to describe what we've been through,'' a 28-year-old woman told the judge as her hands trembled. ``You do what you're told to do to survive. Not only was my body violated, but so was my mind.''

In January, a jury convicted Mitchell of 89 charges including 11 counts of kidnapping, 14 counts of robbery, 29 counts of rape and 18 counts of oral copulation.

Perry agreed with prosecutors that Mitchell should be sentenced for each separate sex act and that all counts should be served consecutively.

Deputy Public Defender Cheryl Jones, however, objected to the calculations and argued that the lengthy sentence constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Mitchell also contended his physical condition prevents him from raping or robbing anyone. He appeared in court Monday with a brace on one arm and apparently uses a walker to get around, the result of a degenerative disease that affects muscles in his extremities.

Prosecutors contend he was mobile enough to work as a security guard at the time of the crimes.

Following Monday's hearing, colleagues told prosecutor Susan Powers that Mitchell's lengthy prison term set a record for the District Attorney's Office.

Officials with the state Department of Corrections say the case is at least among the largest sentences, if not the largest, statewide.

Powers contends the true significance of the sentence exists not on the books but with the victims, who hugged each other, wiped away tears and smiled in triumph at the end of the hearing.

``You're giving each victim here a contribution to the sentence,'' Powers said. ``He does time for every one of them. I think for the victims' sake this is a really good sentence.''
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 1, 1997
Words:518
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