Steven Holmes – Violent Rapist gets 15 to 20 years

“Steven is not a bad person – he just has issues.”

–Aunt Carolyn

A 19-year-old North Philadelphia man who beat and sexually assaulted a Temple student in a campus building last year will serve 15 to 20 years in prison, followed by 27 years of probation.

Steven Holmes, who pleaded guilty in May to attacking the student last November, was sentenced yesterday for aggravated assault, aggravated indecent assault and related offenses.

Common Pleas Judge Karen Shreeves-Johns also ruled that Holmes will have to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law upon his release.

“I don’t know where that system failed,” Shreeves-Johns said in court, referring to Holmes’ lengthy juvenile criminal record. “You need to be watched for the greater portion of your life.”

On Nov. 1, 2007, the victim was locking up a classroom in Anderson Hall on Temple’s campus when a masked Holmes grabbed her from behind. He dragged her to a bathroom where he savagely beat her, choked her until she passed out and sexually assaulted her.

Authorities have said that the bathroom was covered in blood.

“Although I may have physically survived a vicious attack, a part of me didn’t,” the victim said in her statement yesterday. “I lost more than my personal belongings that night. I lost part of myself.”

The defense argued that Holmes, who lived on 11th Street near Berks, about half a block from Anderson, is mentally ill, citing that he was previously on medication for schizophrenia. The defense also said that he has no recollection of the incident because he was high on PCP at the time.

“He should be so lucky [not to remember the attack],” the victim said during her statement. “Because I will always have memories.”

Public Defender Tracy Frederick asked that the judge strongly consider rehabilitation in the case, because none of Holmes’ previous charges was as serious, and said that, at 19, he is just beyond the juvenile system.

Frederick said Holmes requested to write an apology letter to the victim in July.

“He feels horrible about it,” she said. “He wants the victim to know how sorry he is.”

“Steven is not a bad person,” Carolyn Young, Holmes’ aunt, told the judge after apologizing to the victim’s family. “He’s a really loving person – he just has issues.”

The defense also requested that Holmes be placed in State Correctional Institution Waymart, a facility for mentally disabled inmates. He will be held there so he can undergo mental health treatment during his incarceration.

Assistant District Attorney Bill Davis had requested that Holmes be sentenced to at least 35 years’ incarceration, based on his rate of recidivism as a juvenile.

Just before the sentencing, Shreeves-Johns asked Holmes if he had anything to say.

“I just need help, your Honor,” he said quietly, after apologizing for the incident.

Shreeves-Johns recognized that Holmes is mentally ill, but said his claimed use of PCP during the assault had been voluntary. In addition to incarceration and probation, she ordered him to undergo psychiatric counseling, anger-management therapy, random urinalysis and drug treatment. *

Published in: on November 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

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