Marlon M. Humphries — a Belleville man accused of raping two women in 2014 and 2015 — was sentenced to 45 years in prison Monday, his 24th birthday.
Prosecutors charged Humphries in November 2015 with two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of criminal sexual assault stemming from a rape in October 2014 and another in November 2015. Humphries confessed to the crimes after he was arrested, and DNA testing linked him to the assaults. Both victims attended the Monday afternoon sentencing for Humphries at the St. Clair County Courthouse.
“He deserves life,” said the 53-year-old victim of the first rape.
Humphries plead guilty to attacking the first victim when she was riding her bike home from a friend’s house after midnight on Oct. 18, 2014, near 11th and West D streets. He pulled her from her bike and dragged her into an alley, where he raped her. She escaped as Humphries was getting dressed, according to a police report.
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Humphries also pleaded guilty to the Nov. 8, 2015, rape, when he sexually assaulted another woman around 1:30 a.m. on the Richland Creek Greenway bike trail. She was walking home alone on the trail when Humphries pushed her to the ground, raped her and then left her.
When asked whether she had any forgiveness for Humphries, the victim of the first rape said, “Not for him. Never.” She went on to thank the Belleville Police Department for finding and arresting Humphries.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get this out of my head.
Victim of sexual assault
St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said the victims continue to suffer from emotional harm. One said she’s afraid to go out at night, another said she cries every day.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever get this out of my head,” Kelly quoted one victim as saying. “The scabs on my back healed, but my mind can’t heal that easily,” the other victim said.
Kelly argued that Humphries has “no moral compass,” and lacks a “sense of value for human life.” He said the defendant has minimal or no potential for rehabilitation, and said Humphries is a predator who has no control over his actions.
Kelly asked the judge to sentence Humphries to 45 years, while Humphries’ attorney argued Humphries had taken responsibility for his actions by confessing and pleading guilty. In hushed tones, Humphries asked the judge for a shorter sentence — 25 years.
“I’m not the same individual I was 14 months ago,” when he was arrested and placed in the St. Clair County Jail, Humphries told the judge. He asked the victims for forgiveness and said he “loves and cherishes” his family. He has an 11-month-old son, whom he wants to “raise in the proper way.”
“I can’t do that while I’m in prison,” Humphries said.
He said he wished he could “go back in time” and take back what he did, but he said he will “take responsibility for my actions.”
I didn’t raise my son to be the kind of person they claim for him to be.
Mother of Marlon M. Humphries
Humphries’ brother, grandmother, mother and the mother of his young child testified at the sentencing and said Humphries is a loving, caring, supportive family member. At least 15 other family members attended the hearing.
Tamara Humphries, his mother, said her son “is a good son,” and said he is a “kind, respectful” and helpful person. She also apologized to the victims, adding, “I didn’t raise my son to be the kind of person they claim for him to be.”
“I’d like his son to get the chance to know him,” Tamara Humphries added.
Judge Robert Haida said he wished Humphries would have cared about his family members on the nights he assaulted the two women as much as his family cared about him on sentencing day.
“I take them at their word,” Haida said. “Very few people are all good or all bad. None of us are perfect. That’s what makes us human beings.”
But the judge said the victims will deal with the emotional effects of the assaults “for the rest of their lives.” In prison, Humphries will be “deterred from preying upon other innocent people,” Haida said. Humphries also hurt his family when he raped the two women, Haida said.
As the judge read out the sentences for each charge — 15 years each for two counts of aggravated assault and 15 years for one count of criminal sexual assault — Humphries’ mother and the mother of his child exited the courtroom in tears. They returned moments later, in time to hear the judge explain to Humphries that he has 30 days to file a motion to withdraw his guilty plea if he believes trial proceedings were unfair. If nothing changes, Humphries will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence minus the 14 months he has already spent in jail — a minimum of roughly 37 years.
Before leaving the courtroom, the judge allowed Humphries to hold his baby for a few moments.
After the sentencing, one victim said, “One less monster on the streets.”