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Convicted Rapist Sentenced to Life in Prison

Miguel Sierra is accused of lying in wait at the victim's home, tying her to her bed with dog leashes and raping her repeatedly.

A jury found him guilty in January, and now a judge has sent him to prison for the rest of his life.

Gone is the clean shaven young man in a suit and tie we saw at trial. Tuesday afternoon Miguel Sierra faced the judge with a five o'clock shadow and a jailhouse jumpsuit, still maintaining his innocence.

Miguel said, "I just turned 24 years of age. I am not a criminal. "

James Hankinson, circuit court judge, said, "You are a law abiding citizen’s worst nightmare. I sincerely hope you never draw a free breath again. It would be a shame if you ever did."

Judge Hankinson promptly sentenced Sierra to the maximum sentence on seven counts from kidnapping to rape to burglary, four life sentences plus 30 years in all.

Ethan Way, Sierra's attorney, says, "He's maintained his innocence from the beginning, he continues to maintain his innocence. The minimum guideline was over 40 years, which is excessive in itself, so I was surprised to see life sentences handed down today."

Kathy Ray, prosecutor, says, "I can only imagine the type of personality it takes to for somebody to do that to another individual and then take the stand and say he's not a criminal and these acts were consensual. In Florida, you don't get parole, so a life sentence is truly a life sentence. He will spend the rest of his life in prison where he belongs."

Sierra has already requested a new trial and filed his intent to appeal to the first district court of appeals.

The victim chose not to attend the hearing. Prosecutors say she did not want to see Sierra and that she is trying to move on with her life.


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