Jury sentences teen rapist to 75 years in prison

LEAGUE CITY — A teenage rapist who followed his victim home from the school bus, cut her electricity and phone line and sexually assaulted her at knife point was sentenced to 75 years in prison, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Brandon Michael Black, 17, was found guilty Wednesday on three counts of aggravated sexual assault, stemming from an April 27, 2009, attack at a 15-year-old girl’s home in League City, prosecutor Kayla Allen said. Black’s attorney, Lynette Briggs, asked jurors for a five-year sentence or probation, saying her client’s mental illness could be treated.

Allen, however, urged jurors in Judge Lonnie Cox’s 56th District Court in Galveston to consider a life sentence, saying Black was found to have committed aggravated arson as a child, was mean and violent and couldn’t be helped. League City detective Marty Grant called Black’s crime — including two days of planning — the worst sexual assault case he’d worked in his 20 years as a police officer. Black told police he attempted to talk to the girl a few days before the attack, but she ignored him, Allen said. The girl, however, has no memory of Black speaking to her, Allen said.

Followed Home From Bus

The girl was Allen’s first witness to testify.  Black, who was tried as an adult, rode the same Clear Creek High School bus as the victim, Allen said. The girl’s bus stop was among the first, and Black’s was among the last. The bus video showed Black getting off the bus at the girl’s stop, and he followed her home, Allen said. “He cut the phone line, pulled the power meter off, knocked on the door, had a knife in his hand by his side and asked if he could use the phone,” Allen said. “She said, ‘my electricity’s out’ and flipped the light switch to show him.”

Black put the knife to the girl’s throat, threatened to kill her, choked her to the point where she nearly lost consciousness and then raped her repeatedly in her bedroom and living room, Allen said.

Suspect Laughing Before Arrest

The girl gave police a description of her attacker, including where on the bus he sat, and officers arrested Black within a couple hours, Grant said. “He had a class ring with his name branded on it,” Allen said. “She saw the name on his ring while he was raping her.” Police found Black outside a laundry at FM 518 and Reynolds Avenue, Grant said.  “He was picked up in the parking lot, laughing,” Grant said. Black was doing laundry with siblings, Grant said. Doctors’ testimony indicated Black had a mental illness, conduct disorder or Asperger syndrome, a form of autism, Allen said.

Eligible For Parole In 2040

“There’s no medication that’s going to fix him,” Allen told the jury. “What will happen next time someone ignores him? Do you think he will keep them alive to tell? Don’t make us have to be here years later on a murder charge.” The jury sentenced Black to 75 years on each count of aggravated sexual assault, but the sentences will run concurrently, prosecutor Elizabeth Cuchens said.  Black, who faced a life sentence on each first-degree felony charge, will be eligible for parole in 30 years, Allen said.

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