News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Man who captured and assaulted teen gets 40 years to life
Nov 11, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer
A judge sentenced a Riverton man to 40 years to life in prison for second-degree attempted murder of a girl in the fall of 2011.
George William Lucas, 47, was also sentenced to 40 to 50 years for sexual assault, 18 to 20 years for sexual abuse and eight to 10 years for intimidating a witness.
Lucas pleaded guilty in August to the first three charges and no contest to intimidating a witness under a plea agreement.
His admission added another two to four years of jail time because he violated probation for a 2009 conviction of third-degree sexual assault.
At Thursday's 90-minute hearing Lander's 9th District Court Judge Norman E. Young said Lucas's prison sentences would run concurrently.
"That sentence is a fair sentence in light of the terrible crime that he did," Fremont County deputy attorney Patrick LeBrun told the court. "It's bad."
LeBrun said Lucas used a belt and choked the victim until she was unconscious and then sexually assaulted her.
He said Lucas's actions affected the victim tremendously.
"Now she doesn't even read that well," he said. "This crime that Mr. Lucas did has affected (the victim) in so many unimaginable ways."
LeBrun called the victim brave as she continues her recovery.
"George Lucas can never be given the opportunity to do this again," he added.
The victim then spoke a few words.
"I feel like he needs to confess for what he did," the emotional girl said. "He took everything away from me."
She said she can no longer follow her dreams of enlisting in the Army.
"Every day I'm in constant pain," she continued. "All the things that he did to me ruined my life, and I don't know how to fix it now."
Defense attorney Kate McKay said her client was remorseful.
"He is so sorry that he cannot give (the victim) closure that she needs and that she probably deserves," McKay said. "He will apologize, and he hopes she can someday see the truth in that."
"He does have incredible and deep remorse," McKay said.
Lucas said he has no excuse for his actions.
"It's hard for me to even live with myself," he told the court. "I'm so ashamed."
Shackled and in bright orange inmate clothing, Lucas remained with his head forward as he addressed the victim who was sitting in the audience with a dozen others.
"Please just know how very sorry I am," he said.
Young gave credit for time served and ordered Lucas to pay $35,837 in restitution.
Prosecutors initially filed 17 felonies against Lucas following the brutal attack. Charges were later reduced, to which Lucas pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness or deficiency on March 1.
Following his arraignment, Lucas underwent an evaluation at the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston.
The hearing in August was initially set to weigh Lucas's competency and argue evidence in the case, but the plea agreement changed the purpose.