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Posted on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 6 p.m.

Woman to her rapist: 'Nothing can vindicate your actions'

By Kyle Feldscher

A woman stood feet away Thursday from the man who pulled her out of bed, choked her until she was unconscious and then raped her. She spelled out for him what it meant to be raped.

"I still believe in the ultimate kindness and goodness of most humans, but this event has left me altered somehow," she said. "I will not say broken, for I would never allow you that power, although for some time now broken is how I've felt."


Marcus Wilson

Courtesy of Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office

The woman stood at the lectern in the middle of the small courtroom at the Washtenaw County Circuit Court. To her right was Marcus Wilson, an 18-year-old man who admitted to breaking into her apartment in Ann Arbor and raping her on July 3. The woman recounted how Wilson dragged her out of her bed, choked her until she was unconscious and then raped her on the floor of her bedroom.

She told him there would be no sympathy for him, regardless of his past or upbringing. She told him he would be considered “three levels below pond scum” in prison, where he will spend the next 20 to 30 years. She told him he’d done something that was unredeemable.

“You entered somebody else's space with the already-shocking intention of committing theft, and you ended up choosing to rape a sleeping female," she said. "The concept of this is so disgusting I can hardly bear to verbalize it. Home invasion is one thing, asphyxiating a female into unconsciousness and possible death to violate her sexually is another.

“The justice system will undoubtedly see you are duly punished for both. This is not only an act of hatred towards women, but an act of war against innocence, and a crime against your own sex. You have performed an injustice to all decent men.”

Wilson was sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison for first-degree criminal sexual conduct after pleading guilty earlier this month. That sentence will run concurrent to a sentence of 5 years and seven months to 15 years for second-degree home invasion and 11-and-a-half years to 20 years for first-degree home invasion.

He’ll be required to pay $3,000 in restitution to the woman, in addition to $716 in court costs and fees. Melinda Morris, a recently retired judge who was filling in for Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge David Swartz while Swartz undergoes an operation, handed out the sentence. is not using the woman’s name because she is the victim of a sex crime.

In measured and emotional terms, the woman explained how her life and that of her husband had been altered since July 3. On that night, Wilson removed an air conditioning unit from the window and entered the bedroom intending to steal items from the home. Instead, he found the woman — whom he did not know — sleeping in her bed.

She detailed how sorry she felt for her husband, who entered the bedroom to find Wilson violating her on the floor. She said Wilson told her husband he had a gun before fleeing on foot. The woman told Wilson he should be glad her husband wasn’t able to get his hands on him.

“To be threatened with the possibility of you being armed with a gun, as you told him you were, the combination of utter panic, fury and frustration he felt must have been unspeakable,” she said. “He had no idea if I was dead or alive.”

Police have described Wilson’s act as the nightmare version of rape. Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Blake Hatlem said Thursday that TV crime shows have more tact than to detail this kind of brutal incident.

The woman told Morris the rape has deeply affected her and her husband.

The woman is not a United States citizen and is not eligible for health insurance. She told Morris she suffered permanent damage to the ligaments and nerves in her hip, shoulder and back during the rape and she’ll need medical treatment for the rest of her life.

The medical bills from her time in the hospital following the rape have so depleted the couple’s finances that they’ve been forced out of their Ann Arbor apartment and now live with her husband’s parents, she said.

“I rage at the fact you damaged me completely unnecessarily,” she said. “How dare you feel you have that right over another person. However, I suspect the experiences awaiting you in prison will help you understand what it’s like to be damaged by another person, if you don’t already know.”

The woman ended her statement saying that she hoped he would get the education and rehabilitation in prison that would allow him to build “a decent human being out of the devastation you’ve created for yourself.”

Before sentencing, Morris asked Wilson if he had anything to say. Wilson held the same empty stare that was cemented on his face from the moment he entered the courtroom and looked at the gallery.

"No," he said.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Debbie Green

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 9:18 p.m.

To the woman: I wish I could contact you give you personal support! Our daughter was raped, at 13 (1998). I know more than I want to about the justice system and long term effects of rape. Our daughter was riding her bike, abducted at gunpoint and raped. The rapist - John Robert Lee (18) was sentenced to life. Nothing less would have been acceptable. Getting him a life sentence wasn't easy. I wrote to Prosecuting Attorney Brian Mackie complaining that the prosecutor assigned was inexperienced. He was trying to "protect" our daughter from testifying and didn't comprehend that she WANTED TO TESTIFY. He also suggested we plea bargain because it was unlikely that the rapist would get more than 15 years even though technically he could get a life term. The only way we could see to hand down a life sentence was to hire a lawyer. So we did. Our daughter read her victim impact statement in court standing near the rapist with the TV cameras rolling. Judge Donald Shelton sentenced him to life on the spot, citing that rehabilitation of a rapist is highly unlikely and he wanted to protect other women from this man. Our daughter's case was bad enough, but in this case," Police have described Wilson's act as the nightmare version of rape." It wasn't as if the door was unlocked! The rapist took out an air conditioner to get in! He was already breaking and entering to steal. Then he chokes her and brutally rapes her?! And she is left with permanent physical damage needing lifelong medical treatment?! He got 20-30 years only?! He'll be 38-48 when he gets out - certainly young enough to commit many more rapes before he loses interest! Whether this is the fault of Melinda Morris, the original advice of someone (prosecuting attorney?) to plea bargain, or the law to even allow plea bargaining for this heinous crime, the judgement is WRONG! This is Ann Arbor! We, of all communities, must stand up for rape victim rights!


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

Debbie ~ Thank you for your support and advice. I am most interested in hearing more from you about this. You can contact me personally at (this email is only viewed by me) and through there I can give you more personal information.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 4:46 a.m.

Better the phrase "the man who raped her" than "her rapist." I'm sure she doesn't want him to be HER anytning.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 5:20 p.m.

I'd put quotation marks around the word "man".


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 8:57 a.m.

The donation link is broken. It's hard not to cry when i hear these things. I think, over and over what if, and the only thing I can really do is to donate to help them. Please fix that link.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

A PayPal account has been set up to benefit the woman and her husband. Anyone interested in donating funds to their family to help with her medical bills, you can find how to here.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 10:17 p.m.

This woman is a survivor! She deserves better from humanity and our community. I for one am grateful that she gave voice to the horror of what happened. May she continue to recover and be surrounded by goodness and mercy all the rest of her days. Blessings and compassion to her husband as well. The attacker should NEVER be on the streets again.

Jenn McKee

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

So glad this woman managed to gather the strength necessary to stand in court, face her attacker, and issue this articulate, powerful statement. Too often, the victims of violent crime, particularly rape, have no voice, and rapists often never really confront the consequences of their actions. Who knows if this speech will have any effect on this man, but if nothing else, here's hoping it does the victim, and the rest of us, some good.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

I just spoke with the husband of this woman again. Our meeting is off today, but he will let me know if they decide to do anything as far as a fundraiser.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 5:20 p.m.

I can't believe how little she get in monetary compensation for this. I'm sure it does not even come close to putting a dent in her medical bills for treatment after being victimized. If there is any way to send a gift card or something, even to an anonymous name and address, I am definitely up for it. Please continue to keep us posted.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

20 to 30 years for rape, what has the judicial system come to? his past does'nt allow him to go around raping innocent women, this crime deserves a life sentence.... period !

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:26 p.m.

For those asking about possible fundraising for the victim: She and her husband contacted me after the hearing and I'm going to their home to talk with them later on this afternoon for a follow up story about their life following this incident. I will ask them then about anything they might want to do for fundraising and will report back.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

1201- If you're speaking about the report I believe you are, police simply didn't mention the assault was interrupted. As more details have come out, it's clear that Wilson was interrupted in the act. I'm not sure if she was asleep and her husband was simply in another room or if she was home alone and he came home during the assault. I'll try and find that out for you.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

Kyle, earlier report said that she was home alone and then it was reported that her husband walked in on the assault. Did her husband just happen to come home during the assault?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

Want to reiterate pbehjatnia's mention of the need for a fund drive to help this woman and her husband --- what I was looking for as I read this article. Kyle and, could you please investigate whether a mechanism exists or could be created for helping them while preserving their anonymity? I would certainly contribute.

music to my ear

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 7:56 p.m.

dear sharon Zs great Idea, it would be nice if some of the restaurants around A 2 could do a 10% of their sales say fri advertise the restaurant that would like to participate and so forth. like for four weeks every Friday or Saturday and all us commentators can help by eating there.or set up an account with a local bank good luck,


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

Are we ever going to be rid of Melinda Morris? I thought she was retired!!!!!


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

So, wait. He goes to a state prison for say 10 years. right? He'll get three hots and a cot and a library and a gym and movies. Right? She gets permanent psychological and physical damages that have already driven her family into emotional and financial devastation? This cannot be the end. If anyone ever needed a fund drive this woman does. Am I the only one who thinks so?


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

she will get permanent psychological damage if, and only if, she allows it...he should be passed around...oh wait in prison...young meat...he will be!


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Can anyone explain why the initial article in July, based upon information provided by AAPD, stated the following?: "The suspect entered the residence through an unlocked window and tried to assault a victim, but a witness interrupted the attack, according to the release." The story was never reported on again until a suspect was in custody. Seems to me that the community should have been warned better than it was.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:28 p.m.

As we've seen in various cases recently, police are often loathe to give up too many details about the incident in the immediate aftermath to protect their investigation. From what I understand from police, there was a LOT of investigation that went on in this case. We received more details after his arrest and during the testimony Thursday that has clarified those very generic details.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

"...she hoped he would get the education and rehabilitation in prison that would allow him to build "a decent human being out of the devastation you've created for yourself." Funded, of course, by Michigan tax payers. Personally, I would hope for the end of his suffering.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

For the end of his suffering?

Clay Moore

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 5:42 a.m.

What good does a prison sentence do for anyone? It won't help the victim. It won't rehabilitate him .... only make him worse if anything. It doesn't help society to have to pay for his incarceration. Execute him immediately!


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

@Clay....I oppose the death penalty for a number of reasons, but one of them is simply this: it lets the perp off too easily. I think it really is true that "hanging's too good for some people."

Fresh Start

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:18 a.m.

Ok i'll rephrase...The irony is palpable in the victim's statement to the defendant where she said "I suspect the experiences awaiting you in prison will help you understand what it's like to be damaged by another person..." Rape damages its victims.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:02 a.m.

lets try this again. 20-30 years in prison is too soft a sentence for this violator. golly gee, he should probably have a harsher punishment.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:55 a.m.

I'm sure prison life will be just the thing to let this guy see, or feel, what he's done ~

Steven Taylor

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:38 a.m.

I have no sympathy for predators like this. They ought to be put down. His sentence of 20-30 years means he'll be out before he reaches 50 more than likely he'll serve a much shorter sentence and be released back into the public.

Susan Ursus

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:16 a.m.

No point in telling Morris how a crime has affected a victim. We all know whose side Melinda is on.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

Morris is retired. Can we just be rid of her????

Susan Ursus

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:18 a.m.

P.S. Please go away, Morris. You have worn out your welcome.

Susan Ursus

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:13 a.m.

That poor woman got a life sentence. Wilson is getting off easy.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 4:54 p.m.

As a victim of rape, I don't get the life-long "obsession" with the damage it causes. I learned a long time ago that I was assaulted, no differently from being beat up with fists, by a penis. That's it, end of story. As women, we need to stand up, realize that is all that happened, and not let the issue take anything from you...if it does....the perp wins.

music to my ear

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:51 a.m.

just reading what she told the rapist was very powerful,I really do feel for her, I pray one day she may heal in her heart .because I can tell her faith in mankind has been shattered and it is not fair she and her husband lost everything their apt no insurance. and the physical pain she must endure she may never see a dime from that guy,better yet any money over those 20 years in prison he makes should all go to her. I hope and pray god will have a plan to help you heal.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

I believe the Victim rights Fund could assist her. And I agree, more victim statements should be published. The words spoken by this Courageous Woman will remain on many peoples mind.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:11 a.m.

Why concurrent sentences? Such criminals should receive consecutive sentences.

Paula Gardner

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:03 a.m.

Thanks to this victim for articulating her fear, how this event changed her and how she feels about the defendant. I hope that sharing her story helps her healing - and that it helps the community understand why we all need to be concerned about crime, as well as its causes and repercussions.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

JBK and Robert, see my comment below. I'll hopefully have more information for you today.

Robert Jenkins

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:53 a.m.

I'm glad you said something JBK, I was thinking the same thing. Surely there are people in the community who can help this woman and her husband. I would like to know so I could contribute something.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:14 a.m.

Paula - Is there some sort of fundraising effort going on to help the family? The article stated she is not native born American and cannot get help for her injuries. Has anyone taken up her cause? The Lions Club, A2 Jaycess, Knights of Columbus, to name a few. Perhaps a bank has setup an account with a dropoff point.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 12:07 a.m.

How is justice served if this person (and I use the term loosely) ever gets out of prison? Is there a risk of parole? Why are the rights of those who don't rape and murder so much less important than the rights of those who do? How does Melinda Morris sleep at night?

James Socrates

Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

To begin, When a judge sits on another's docket, any significant cases, and certainly cases that have just been been tried, the sentence would have already been decided by the original judge, so blaming Judge Morris in this case is like blaming the messenger. Almost all Judges have already decided how they are going to rule on a case before they take the bench, and some will not even allow oral arguments, although I will say this varies on the Judge. Secondly, Judges almost always hand down the sentence recommended in the pre-sentence investigation reports, recognizing that those with a more intiment knowledge of the individual and the case, will be better able to make an objective and fair decision as to sentencing then a judge with over 100 cases a week. Thirdly, while people are extremely fond of blasting Judge Morris for what they describe as "unjust" sentencing, her decisions are rarely if ever overturned, because she does not use her personal beliefs as a basis for sentencing or the public's beliefs. She is hounded on so much BECAUSE overzealous citizens do not like objective judges.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

There would be no point in a plea agreement if the judge was going to ingnore it. Plea agreements do serve a purpose in the legal system and it would be a waste of time and resources if judges ignored the agreements.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:40 p.m.

Morris is retired. Can we be rid of her???? She needs to go AWAY. If this violent criminal ever gets out, it's an abomination of justice. NEVER should have been any plea deal whatsoever. Life with no chance of parole.

Robert Switzer

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:58 a.m.

Susan: No, a judge doesn't have to honor a sentence agreement, but usually does. Michigan Court Rule 6.302(C)(3): (3) If there is a plea agreement and its terms provide for the defendant's plea to be made in exchange for a specific sentence disposition or a prosecutorial sentence recommendation, the court may (a) reject the agreement; or (b) accept the agreement after having considered the presentence report, in which event it must sentence the defendant to the sentence agreed to or recommended by the prosecutor; or (c) accept the agreement without having considered the presentence report; or (d) take the plea agreement under advisement. If the court accepts the agreement without having considered the presentence report or takes the plea agreement under advisement, it must explain to the defendant that the court is not bound to follow the sentence disposition or recommendation agreed to by the prosecutor, and that if the court chooses not to follow it, the defendant will be allowed to withdraw from the plea agreement.

Susan Ursus

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:09 a.m.

I don't think the judge is obligated to honor a plea agreement. Anyone know for sure?

Robert Switzer

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 12:31 a.m.

No. Due to Michigan's "Truth in Sentencing" law the lower end of the sentence is the shortest amount of time the offender will be incarcerated. He'll be eligible for parole in 20 years, and most likely be denied more than once because of the heinous nature of his crime and his lack of remorse. (I'm an attorney.)

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 12:17 a.m.

I'd rather not be fair to Melinda Morris. She hasn't been fair to the people of Washtenaw County her entire career. I understand what you're saying, but it's because of people like Morris that plea deals like this are possible. What is the situation here as it relates to the possibility of parole? Is "overcrowding" going to have him back on the streets next year?

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

Macabre - To be fair to Melinda Morris here, this was a sentencing agreement reached between prosecutors and the defense at the time of the plea deal. It would have been very strange for her to make a ruling above that agreement on a case that has been overseen by Judge Swartz since it was bound over to the circuit court.


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:50 p.m.

Number One: my heartfelt condolences go out to this woman for what she suffered. Number Two: such stories as this being brought to public attention do serve true journalism's cause. So thanks, Kyle. Number Three: I wish this story along with the woman's address to her attacker would be published and republished across America. She may have failed to "reach" her attacker but her statement was profoundly effective to every normal, decent man and woman in the country.


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:44 p.m.

It's hard to add anything to the victim's statement, except may he rot in hell.


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.