'Chilling': Admitted child rapist gets 33 years
Thomas Jefferson Race pleaded guilty to three counts of forcible sodomy in Charlottesville Circuit Court today, but estimates that his victims could number as many as 37 over 18 years.
Race, 34, was arrested March 24, 2009, after his first victim, then a five-year-old boy, told police 20 years later of his babysitter's brutal assaults.
Probation officer Jeff Lenert told the court of Race's "euphoric recall" in describing his victims. "It was chilling," said Lenert.
Race was 15 years old when he first raped a young relative. The other victims in the plea agreement were between 8 and 11 years old, and 6 and 7 years old when they were assaulted, according to prosecutor Elizabeth Killeen.
She described Race as an animal torturer and his attacks on children "sadistic," involving bondage, whips and weapons, including a sword. And while his first assault occurred when he was a minor, she said, he went on to other victims when he was an adult. "It's not something he grows out of at 18 or 19," she noted."
The defendant said he went eight years without molesting children, self-medicating himself with porn and scotch.
Race apologized to his victims, one of whom testified in court. "I know what I've done," said Race. "It's horrible. I do have things I can offer society."
As thunder rolled outside the courtroom, Judge Edward Hogshire sentenced Race to 40 years on each of the three counts, with all but 11 years suspended on each charge.
"I don't think I"ve ever seen a case wth this level of potential damage to children," said the judge.
Killeen notes that there may be other victims who have not been identified, and she urges them to come forward to receive help.