Carbon County woman confronts rapist at sentencing hearing
Geoff Liesik, Deseret News
PRICE — Pathetic. Sick. Psychotic.
The Carbon County woman who addressed 7th District Judge Douglas Thomas used those words Monday to describe the man who kicked her apartment door off its hinges in January, held her at knifepoint and raped her.
"I contemplated suicide or committing myself to a mental hospital," the woman said through sobs as she tried to explain the impact of Dwaine Stacey Shaw's violent actions.
"I couldn't handle not sleeping," she said, adding that she spent most nights after the rape sleeping on the floor in her aunt and uncle's bedroom or walking around their house, checking the locks on all the doors and windows.
"I still find myself doing these things today," the woman said. "I pray for the day when I can finally loosen up and relax."
As the woman talked to the judge, Shaw sat just a few feet away, his face registering no visible sign of emotion.
Shaw, 32, was wearing a clown mask and brandishing a large knife on Jan. 13 when he kicked down the woman's door about 3 a.m. in what Carbon County Attorney Gene Strate characterized as a premeditated attack.
"He bought duct tape to use. He had a knife and a clown mask," the prosecutor said. "He got gloves from his work to use. He actually practiced breaking into a typical door so he could get in to get to the victim."
Once he was inside the apartment, Shaw also forced the woman to touch the knife he was holding so she would know it was real, Strate said. The woman was ultimately able to escape when Shaw put the knife down for moment, the prosecutor said.
"The victim bit him and fled nude from the dwelling," Strate told the judge.
"I see Mr. Shaw as a great danger to the public," he added.
Even though the victim reported the rape immediately, Shaw wasn't arrested until May, when the Utah State Crime Lab matched his DNA to samples taken from her apartment. Defense attorney David Allred said once his client was in custody, he cooperated fully with police and prosecutors.
"He essentially confessed to everything," Allred said, noting that Shaw told investigators where they could find the mask and knife he had used.
Shaw also waived his preliminary hearing and pleaded guilty in October to charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, rape and forcible sodomy — all first-degree felonies that carry maximum sentences of life in prison — to avoid putting the woman through the strain of a trial, his attorney said.
"He recognizes the harm and the fear he caused," Allred said.
Shaw was ordered to serve at least 15 years in prison for the kidnapping charge, and given concurrent sentences of five years to life in prison for the rape, sodomy and burglary charges.
"We calculate that with the additional time from the other counts, that he's likely going to be there about 24 years, I think, but he could be there for life," Strate said after Monday's hearing.
Before sending Shaw back to a holding cell, the judge admonished him to take advantage of treatment programs at prison. The judge also spoke directly to the victim, who sat surrounded by family.
"It's not your fault," he said, referring to the rape. "I think it's important that you hear that from someone who knows all the facts of the case."
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