General Crime

* Jamaal Harrison Gets 100 Years In Prison For Four Sexual Assaults

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A man was sentenced to 100 years to life in state prison today for sexually assaulting four young Oakland females in crimes that a judge said were “absolutely heinous.” Alameda County Superior Court Judge Joan Cartwright told 34-year-old Jamaal Harrison, “You deserve no sympathy or compassion” for the attacks on victims between the ages of 14 to 20 from April 2006 to April 2008. “You preyed on not just one but four young women who were vulnerable and were minding their own business and totally humiliated and degraded them,” Cartwright said. Cartwright asked Harrison, “How could one human being do this to another?” The judge said, “You didn’t know these women or their stories or dreams but you believed it was your right at least four times to inflict your need for power and hatred of women on them.” Harrison was convicted on June 1 of a total of 17 felony counts. He was convicted of five counts of forcible rape, nine counts of forced oral copulation and one count each of attempted sodomy, sodomy and sexual penetration with a foreign object. Prosecutor Mark Melton said that in three of the cases Harrison abducted his victims from the streets in Oakland into his car and drove them to remote locations where he repeatedly assaulted them, left them naked and then abandoned them. One victim was abandoned far away in San Pablo, he said. Melton said in the fourth case Harrison grabbed his victim from the street and dragged her to the grounds of a nearby church, where he could carry out his assault without being seen.   “This guy was a real predator,” Melton said. The prosecutor said Harrison chose young women who were small and slender to be his victims “so he could easily physically dominate them.”  Harrison “really picked his victims,” Melton said. Melton said the case was solved through “good police work” by Oakland police, who obtained a DNA swab from Harrison in another case and used it to identify him as the suspect in the four sexual assaults. The DNA evidence was critical during Harrison’s trial because none of his victims could identify him as their attacker. Harrison’s attorney, Deborah Levy, declined to comment on the case today. Harrison didn’t speak at his sentencing hearing.

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