Robert Williams, convicted on "44 counts of attempted murder, kidnapping, arson, rape, sodomy and burglary" for his 19-hour reign of terror against a then-23-year-old Columbia University student, was sentenced on Thursday to 422 years in prison. Under New York State law, Williams will be eligible for parole after 50 serving years.
Justice Carol Berkman called Williams' acts "extraordinary evil." The Daily News reported,
The remorseless rapist, who had to be forcibly dragged into court, showed no emotion, sitting shackled at the defense table, his hands draped in protective mitts to prevent him from scratching anyone.
Monster gets 422 years for 19-hour rape and torture of Columbia student, by Barbara Ross and Bill Hutchinson, July 25.
Williams had gained access to the victim's apartment building near Columbia's campus, taken the elevator with her, followed her down the hall, and forced his way into her apartment. The victim was then a graduate student at the nation's most influential journalism school—run by racial propagandist Nicholas Lemann—which trains aspiring writers to refrain from reporting honestly on race and crime.
In a crime with echoes to the Knoxville Horror, Williams repeatedly raped the victim, repeatedly orally and anally sodomized her, poured bleach in her eyes, boiling water on her body, cut up her face with a carving knife, and slit her eyelids. At the end, he pumped her full of pills to make her helpless, tied her to her futon, and before leaving, set the bed on fire, in order to kill her. Using the fire to free herself from the bed, the victim heroically escaped, her hands still bound.
The victim, who did not attend Williams' sentencing, wrote a letter to the judge, asking for the max. The victim had testified for two days during the June trial, days on which Williams refused to attend his own trial. I suspect that he sought to make it impossible for his victim to identify him in open court as her tormentor.
Justice Berkman praised the victim, "Every decent person who witnessed [her] testimony in this courtroom was impressed by her bravery, her intelligence and her extraordinary grace in the face of the horror that this defendant inflicted upon her."
When Williams was still at large, he was identified by the Daily News as "black," but his victim's race was never mentioned. At the time, NYPD spokesman, Detective Dennis Laffin, informed me that the victim was white. I left a message on Daily News Metro Editor Dean Chang's answering machine, asking him why the newspaper failed to mention the victim's race, but Chang never responded.
Race politics also clouded the News' coverage of the trial. While understandably blotting out her face, the News' court artist depicted the testifying victim as having light brown skin, suggesting she was not white. In the same story, reporter Barbara Ross may have sought to counteract the paper's censorship/deception, by referring to the victim's "pale face."