Freeport man gets 26 years in prison for rape, attempted murder
The Journal-Standard - 5/25/2018
May 24--FREEPORT -- A Freeport man on Wednesday was sentenced to 26 years in prison for raping his stepdaughter and attempting to murder his wife.
Randy Watson, 57, stabbed and slashed at his wife multiple times on Dec. 18, 2016. The incident occurred less than two weeks after she found a video of Watson raping her unconscious 23-year-old daughter, who is autistic.
The Journal-Standard is not identifying the wife because doing so would serve to identify her daughter. The paper does not identify rape victims.
Watson pleaded guilty to sexual assault, attempted murder and aggravated battery on April 30. Since the criminal sexual assault and aggravated battery charges will be served concurrently and Watson will get credit for time he has already served, he will be in prison until about 2039.
The woman said the sentence does not provide closure, since she did not get to address Watson directly during her victim impact statement. Watson waived his right to be present at the hearing.
"It would have (provided closure) if he had been here," she said. "I really wanted to read my statement to him."
Freeport police officers arrived during the attack and were able to subdue Watson, but not before he had inflicted severe injuries to his wife and put a deep cut into his own neck.
She spent eight days in the intensive care unit and three in the trauma room. She has gone through five surgeries, and is no longer able to work due to extensive nerve damage caused by the knife wounds. The attack also accelerated symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
"Randy sentenced (her) to a life sentence," the woman's father said during his victim impact statement. "She's going to have pain and disablement for the rest of her life."
Judge Michael Bald sentenced Watson to the exact terms of the previously agreed upon plea deal. Watson will be about 77 years old when he is released from prison.
"In this case, we were able to negotiate an agreement where the defendant will spend most, if not the rest, of his life in prison," said Stephenson County State's Attorney Carl Larson. "I view that as a successful outcome, and in negotiating that sentence, we reduced the possibility of an unforeseen circumstance causing a problem at the trial, nearly all possibility of appeal and any significant issues in post-conviction petitions."
Watson's attorney, Jim Hursh, declined to comment.
Derrick Mason: 815-232-0133; email@example.com; @derrickhmason
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