Man convicted of raping prostitute to spend up to 90 years in prison
The man convicted of raping, slashing and beating a prostitute in a March 2009 attack will serve up to 90 years in prison but plans to appeal his conviction.
Courtesy of WCSO
A jury found Anthony Chandler, 41, guilty on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and assault with a dangerous weapon last month. On Monday, Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Darlene O’Brien ruled Chandler will be spending most of his life in prison.
On the criminal sexual conduct charge, O’Brien sentenced Chandler to between 40 and 90 years in prison. On the assault with intent to do great bodily harm charge, he was given between 40 and 60 years in prison. He’ll serve between 10 and 15 years on the assault with a dangerous weapon charge.
Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Robyn Liddell said Chandler deserved whatever sentence O’Brien gave him. Liddell said she knows Chandler is a man of faith, but should only expect mercy in the afterlife.
“I hope that God has mercy on his soul, but this court should show him no mercy,” she said.
On March 29, 2009, a now-44-year-old woman was grabbed while she stood near a baseball field on South Harris Street in Ypsilanti Township. The woman said she was dragged at knifepoint to nearby woods where Chandler raped her on a mattress. At one point, Chandler slashed the woman’s hand with a knife while she was trying to defend herself.
Chandler and the woman had previous contact, said David I. Goldstein, Chandler’s attorney. This is contrary to the woman and Chandler’s initial statements to police.
Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office deputies called to the scene of the assault interrupted the incident. The suspect fled and the woman emerged, bloodied and beaten, from the woods. The investigation stalled after the incident.
"She's going to have a lifelong physical ailment as a result (of this crime)," O'Brien said.
Three years later, DNA evidence found from semen on the woman’s coat and on a glove found in the snow near the scene pointed investigators toward Chandler. He was previously convicted of stealing a vehicle and his DNA was on file with the state.
Investigators interviewed the woman again after the DNA evidence made Chandler a suspect. The woman identified Chandler in a lineup and a warrant was issued for his arrest on July 10. He was arrested during a traffic stop on Aug. 2.
Appearing in court Monday, dressed in a green Washtenaw County Jail uniform and with his hair pulled back into cornrows, Chandler declined to say anything in his defense before O’Brien. Goldstein said Chandler plans to appeal the conviction.
“My client maintains his innocence,” Goldstein said.
The victim in the case submitted a written impact statement to O’Brien and did not appear in court Monday.
In addition to the prison term, Chandler will be required to pay $1,936 in costs and fees.
Liddell said the three charges were Chandler’s eighth, ninth and tenth felony convictions. The case is something that will always stick with Liddell, who said the victim was moments from death.
“Some cases truly shake you to the core,” she said. “Some cases you will never forget, and, for me, this is one of those cases.”