Sunday, August 16, 2009

Caregiver sentenced for rape of deaf, blind woman

Source Link - Caregiver sentenced for rape of deaf, blind woman

A former assistant at a Kent assisted-living facility previously convicted in the rape of a developmentally disabled patient was sentenced Friday to a minimum eight-year prison term, which could be extended to a life sentence.

Following a bench trial, a King County Superior Court Judge Richard McDermott found Joseph Thurura guilty on July 16 of second-degree rape in the 2008 assault.

Prosecutors had argued that Thurura impregnated a 45-year-old woman, who is blind and unable to speak or otherwise communicate due to her disabilities. The woman later had a miscarriage.

Unable to identify her assailant, police took DNA samples from 11 men who had been in a position to have sexual contact with the woman. Prosecutors asserted that Thurura proved a 99.99 percent match to DNA recovered from fetal tissue.

After completing his eight-year term, Thurura's status would be reviewed under state sentencing laws that allow for an indefinite period of confinement for some sex offenders. Thurura could be held for life if state reviewers believe he continues to pose a threat.

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