The Pennsylvania Superior Court has upheld the life sentence of a man convicted of child rape who yelled an expletive at a judge during his trial.
David Brooks, a 54-year-old from Penbrook, Pennsylvania, sought to overturn his life plus 25- to 50-year sentence for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, notes PennLive.
Brooks was convicted of the crime in January 2016 and sentenced in March of that year by President Judge Richard A. Lewis.
“You have forfeited your right to be part of this society,” Lewis told Brooks in court at the time, according to PennLive. “I believe you’re beyond rehabilitation. The only recourse is to lock you up for the rest of your life.”
At that point, Brooks yelled “[expletive] you!” at the judge as sheriff’s deputies intervened to contain the shackled man.
The sexual assault occurred in June 2014. Brooks raped the 16-year-old victim after he overpowered her, and she pleaded with him not to take her virginity. Once she got away from him, she ran out into the street, bleeding and wearing nothing except a headscarf and bra.
According to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office, the victim then ran to a nearby home and told the resident of the home what had happened. The neighbor called police.
“This 16-year-old showed the utmost courage not only on the day she was attacked but throughout a difficult court process,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle said after the jury found Brooks guilty, notes the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office. “She is an amazing young woman.”
Brooks represented himself during his trial and maintained his innocence even after his conviction. He was eligible for the life sentence under the “three strikes” law due to a prior conviction of robbery and another of aggravated sexual assault after he abducted a woman off the street in 1991, notes PennLive.
“Society needs to be protected from David Brooks,” Gettle said when requesting that Brooks spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The victim spoke face to face with Brooks during the trial, as he cross-examined her, as well as during the sentencing hearing.
“What you did to me was so despicable and disgusting and disrespectful,” she said, crying and shouting at Brooks. “No matter how much I try to forgive you, I will always hate you.”
It was after this confrontation that Lewis recommended life in prison for Brooks, and he responded by cursing at the judge.