OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An Oakland man was sentenced Friday to 261 years to life for sexually assaulting his stepdaughter when she was only 9 years old and an adult woman for incidents in San Leandro and Oakland in 2012 and 2013.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Rhonda Burgess pronounced the lengthy sentence against James Duckett, 34, because he was convicted of 12 felony counts and has three prior felony convictions as an adult, a factor that increased his prison term.
Before Duckett was sentenced, his mother told Burgess that Duckett “is not an animal and not a beast.”
Duckett’s mother said, “It bothers me, hearing all this stuff. I don’t believe all that stuff went down and I know a lot of that (the charges against Duckett) is not true.”
When Burgess began pronouncing her harsh sentence against Duckett, his mother stormed out of the courtroom and yelled, “God, I don’t believe this!”
In March, Duckett was convicted of three counts of rape and one count each of sodomy and sexual penetration by force for sexually assaulting the adult woman at his cousin’s apartment in San Leandro on Aug. 14, 2012, after he offered her a ride and to take her to lunch after she met him.
The woman testified during Duckett’s trial that he sexually assaulted her as her 3-year-old son listened a few feet away and she told Duckett to stop but he told her to “just shut up or else.”
The woman said she finally was able to flee with her son and get help after Duckett raped her for the third time.
That sexual assault occurred only three days after Duckett married his wife, the mother of the stepdaughter he was convicted of sexually abusing.
Duckett was convicted of three counts of intercourse or sodomy with a child 10 years or younger, two counts of committing a sex crime with a child and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon for sexually assaulting his stepdaughter and holding a knife to her throat and her mother’s throat.
The incidents took place in San Leandro and Oakland between Nov. 12, 2012, and July 11, 2013.
The girl’s mother told Duckett Friday, “You really messed my daughter up for the rest of her life.”
The mother said her daughter is suicidal, has flashbacks, has trouble sleeping and often is angry.
The mother told Duckett, “I hope you rot in prison the rest of your life.”
Duckett’s mental competency was questioned several times after he was arrested and at one point he was found not competent to stand trial but then was restored to competency.
Duckett rocked back and forth when he appeared before jurors during in his trial but he didn’t do so at his sentencing today.
Duckett’s lawyer Gregory Ward said there’s “overwhelming evidence” that Duckett suffers from mental health issues and is developmentally disabled and that should be considered a factor that could mitigate the length of his sentence.
But Burgess said no evidence was presented that Duckett suffers from mental health problems so she wouldn’t consider that as a factor in mitigation.
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