A Richmond man who kidnapped and raped a 13-year-old neighbor boy in 2011 will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole, a Contra Costa County Superior Court judge said today. Jeremiah Jones, 26, received the tentative sentence in a Martinez courtroom this morning and is set to be formally sentenced next month on nine felony counts including kidnapping, sodomy and forced oral copulation.
Prosecutors said that on Feb. 4, 2011, Jones saw the victim skateboarding outside of his father’s Richmond home, then grabbed and dragged him to a nearby alleyway where he sexually assaulted him. Realizing his son was missing, the boy’s father went looking for him and found the victim in the middle of the sexual assault, according to Deputy District Attorney Mary Blumberg.
The father brought Jones to the ground and held him there while his son called 911. A jury convicted Jones in February on all nine counts against him. Today, he apologized to the victim’s family members and to his wife, who were sitting in court. “There’s not much I can say to repair the damage I’ve done, but I do want to say sorry for my actions,” Jones said.
The court also heard from the victim’s parents and grandmother, who described the heavy toll the attack has taken on the boy. “On February 4, 2011, Jeremiah Jones viciously took away my grandson’s safe and secure childhood,” the victim’s grandmother said through a court victim’s advocate today. Since that time, the victim, then an eighth grader, had to move away from his father’s home, near where the attack occurred. He has had trouble sleeping, keeping up his grades and even leaving the house, relatives said.
“As a mother, in my worst nightmares I would’ve never believed something like this would have happened to my son,” the victim’s mother told the court. Judge Charles Burch noted that the nature of the crime, as well as Jones’s prior criminal history, which includes a felony conviction, determined the sentence. The judge is set to formally sentence Jones on May 3.
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