A Belleville man appealed a 45-year prison sentence Monday, five months after he pleaded guilty to raping two women, one in 2014 and another in 2015.
Judge Robert Haida denied Marlon M. Humphries’ appeal to reduce his sentence and another appeal to withdraw his guilty plea to raping women in October 2014 and November 2015.
Haida sentenced Humphries in January to 15 years each on two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of criminal sexual assault.
Humphries’ attorney argued the court did not consider mitigating evidence in the sentencing hearing and thus asked the judge to reduce Humphries’ sentence to 25 years. Humphries has an infant child, attorney Andrew Liefer argued.
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“That child is going to be a 40-year-old man when his father is released from prison,” Liefer said, adding that Humphries could provide for his son financially and emotionally if he were not in prison.
Liefer said the mother of Humphries’ child would also have to bear the burden of providing for the child on her own. The mother of Humphries’ child and Humphries’ mother watched court proceedings while Humphries remained silent, seated in a white, collared shirt next to his lawyer.
“There’s a tremendous amount of value Marlon could provide to his family, his infant child and society at large if the court reduced his sentence to 25 years,” Liefer said.
Amanda Fischer, St. Clair County assistant state’s attorney, said the judge had a chance to consider the effects on Humphries’ family at the January sentence hearing. Humphries’ brother, grandmother, mother and the mother of his young child testified at the sentencing.
Humphries’ lawyer also said the sentence is longer than that of other similar cases. Liefer cited the 2016 case of 38-year-old Donte A. Bohanna, who was charged with criminal sexual assault of a minor between the age of 13 and 17. Bohanna was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Humphries’ charges were Class X felonies, which are punishable by a minimum of 6 to 30 years prison, while the charges against Bohanna were Class 1 felonies, which are punishable by four to 15 years in prison.
The assistant state’s attorney pointed out differences between the Bohanna case and Humphries’ case. She said Humphries’ actions were predatory, while Bohanna was in a position of trust with his victim. Bohanna, Fischer argued, took advantage of that trust, compared with Humphries, who she said acted with force against a stranger.
“He deserves severe punishment,” Fischer said.
Haida ultimately rejected Humphries’ appeal for a reduced sentence.
“It is a significant sentence. I understand that,” Haida said. “I felt the facts and the circumstances of Mr. Humphries’ actions justified the sentence.”
Humphries also attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing the court did not properly explain the trial process, his right to not plead guilty, or his sentence and his right to appeal it.
The assistant state’s attorney said the court was “extremely detailed” in explaining the process and rights to Humphries at the sentencing hearing in January. She said Humphries did not ask questions and showed no signs of confusion.
“There was no doubt as to the guilt of the accused,” Fischer said.
The judge said he reviewed transcripts from the sentencing and denied Humphries’ appeal to withdraw his guilty plea.