Dec. 15, 2004 – Michael Turbe, 20, received two consecutive life sentences and 50 years in prison Wednesday for raping then slashing the throat of a St. Thomas woman in her home.
Turbe was found guilty of attempted murder, kidnaping, three counts of aggravated rape, two counts of robbery, one count of burglary, assault and weapons charges by a jury in October. He never admitted guilt nor pleaded for leniency from Judge Ive Swan.
Turbe's defense that he tried to help the victim after a friend committed the crimes was "a damnable lie," said Swan, who presided over the trial and sentenced Turbe.
"Nobody believed that," Swan said. "You took the victim through hell and back."
Neither the defense nor the prosecutors were able to find the mysterious friend.
Turbe broke into his victim's home Feb. 27, 2003 and hid in her bathroom until she came home for lunch. He then repeatedly raped her at knife point and demanded she call a colleague to bring cash to the house.
When the victim's friend dropped off $1,000 and left, Turbe cut his victim's throat, stabbed her at least 18 times and fled in her car with the money. The woman survived the incident and identified Turbe as her assailant. Police arrested him the next day.
Swan said he crafted the sentence to minimize chance of early parole, saying Turbe is to serve three life sentences for aggravated rape concurrently, after the life sentence for kidnaping.
Turbe is eligible for parole in 30 years, said Earnest Basson, assistant attorney general. Turbe has already filed an appeal and motions for a new trial.
Turbe's victim worked with the Department of Human Services and has since left the islands. Terrorized by memories, she is unable to resume a normal life, according to her statement read at the sentencing.
She said she was no longer capable of giving or receiving love, and was "damaged goods."
Rape occurs about as often in the U.S. Caribbean territory as in the U.S. mainland — where one in four women are raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
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