A 38-year-old Houston man who raped a woman after using the internet to lure her to a motel has been sentenced to 37 years in prison, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Tuesday.
“Scheming rapists rely on lies to trap and prey on women and continue to lie to hide from responsibility,” Ogg said. “We are proud that this jury understood how this rapist tried to shame and blame his victim to escape any accountability. Instead of believing his defense that she consented, they convicted him and put him in prison for decades.”
Earl Blair met his 23-year-old victim online and persuaded her to meet him at a motel on Oct. 29, 2017. When she arrived, Blair and another man raped her as she resisted.
After the assault, the two men took $500 out of her purse and left her at the motel. She called the Houston police and investigators took her to a hospital, where a sexual assault nurse examiner checked her and collected DNA evidence.
DNA evidence uploaded in a national database matched a sample given by Blair. Authorities were able to track the online profile to the other man, whom police identified as Gregory Childs. He has been charged and awaits trial.
Blair was sentenced Monday following a three-day trial. Jurors heard testimony and deliberated just 30 minutes before convicting him of aggravated sexual assault. They next heard evidence of the extensive criminal record Blair racked up while living in Arkansas. Jurors handed down their punishment verdict on Friday, and he was sentenced on Monday.
Jurors later said they decided on the 37-year prison sentence because they believe Blair won’t get out until he is 75 years old, which would keep the community safe. Blair will be eligible for parole after he serves half of the sentence, but they hoped his lengthy record will make parole unlikely. The case was prosecuted of the Adult Sex Crimes Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
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