CLEVELAND - A man police say, viciously attacked and sexually assaulted a woman in June, is now headed to prison for more than a decade.
Chinyere Okoronkwo, 21, of Newburgh Heights, appeared in court Thursday for sentencing after pleading guilty to charges of sexual battery and felonious assault.
Cuyahoga County Judge Nancy Fuerst made Okoronkwo look at pictures of the victim, taken moments after the attack, before she sentenced him to 13 years and 9 months in prison.
"It's difficult to imagine how one human being can do this to another human being," said Assistant Prosecutor John Hirschauer.
Hirschauer said the victim was thrown to the ground and then raped.
Okoronkwo said he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time.
"I'm truly sorry to the victim," Okoronkwo said.
Newburgh Heights Police Chief John Majoy urged the judge to sentence the defendant to the maximum 18 years behind bars.
"Christmas came early for this defendant," the chief told the judge, noting Okoronkwo was able to plead to reduced charges in exchange for his guilty pleas.
The courageous victim, who also wanted the maximum sentence, faced her attacker before he left the courtroom.
"I wanted to tell the young man that forgive him," she said.