A man convicted of the brutal 1996 rape of a Daly City woman sobbed at his sentencing Friday, claiming he was on the path to redemption when he was arrested a decade after the crime and begging the judge for mercy.
Jermaine Hollie, 36, told the judge he has not been perfect,and blamed his bad choices on childhood abuse and the lack of a father. He said a long prison term would take him away from his children, including a microcephalic son who needs lifelong care.
Hollie, who was volunteering with at-risk youth before his arrest, pledged to continue to make positive change after he is released from prison.
"I want to show the world I’m worthy of this chance," he said, his voice choked with sobs.
Judge Jonathan Karesh was unmoved, however, sentencing Hollie to the maximum 10-year sentence for forcible rape and forcible sexual penetration.
"You ask for mercy but you didn’t show [the victim] any mercy when you raped her and left her in a field," Karesh said.
Although Hollie’s attorney, Daniel Olmos, brought forth numerous letters in support of his client from Hollie’s friends, family and former employer, Karesh said he was most affected by an impact statement by the victim. The woman wrote that the attack prompted her to turn to drugs, and she still struggles with addiction today.
"It was one of the saddest, most gut-wrenching things I have ever read," Karesh told Hollie. "You brutally violated her, and quite frankly, ruined her life."
Prosecutors said Hollie offered the woman a ride as she tried to use a Daly City pay phone at 3 a.m. after an argument with her husband. The pair was drinking together in a nearby field when Hollie suddenly attacked her, raping her and leaving her there.
The woman testified during Hollie’s 12-day trial that he held her down during the attack, pressing his hand over her mouth so hard that her teeth punctured through her lip.
A second alleged victim in Sacramento also testified at the trial, claiming Hollie raped her in 1998. Charges have not been filed in that case.
Prosecutors said Hollie’s DNA was matched to both attacks in December 2005, when he was serving a prison term for a drug offense.
A grand jury indicted Hollie for the rape in February 2006.