Ex-California cop sentenced to life for raping stroke victim

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 11, 2015 12:27 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - A former Sacramento police officer convicted of raping a 75-year-old stroke victim in her senior living apartment has been sentenced to life in prison, court records show.

Prosecutors said Gary Dale Baker, 52, entered the woman's apartment at least three times from 2010 to 2012, raping her twice as she suffered from a stroke-related inability to speak.

He was convicted in July of nine charges relating to the case, including rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery and burglary.

The woman, now 77, was recovering from a stroke in a senior living complex in South Sacramento when the attacks began, prosecutors said.

She struggled to communicate to her family what had happened, and initially, even though DNA evidence confirmed the rape, investigators were not able to link it to any known suspects, prosecutors said.

But in late 2012, after Baker attempted a third assault, a Sacramento police detective suggested that the woman's family install a motion-activated camera.

When Baker came back again, police officers reviewing the footage immediately recognized him as Baker, then an active officer on the Sacramento police force.

He was arrested and fired from the department.

“You tarnished the badge for police officers everywhere," Sacramento Superior Court judge Ernest Sawtelle said as he sentenced Baker, the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported on Wednesday. "For your crimes, you will be sentenced to life in prison.”

Sawtelle called Baker's crimes "unspeakable," the newspaper said.

Sacramento County jail records show that Baker remained in custody Wednesday, with no listed release date. A request by his attorneys for a new trial was denied on Tuesday, records show.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Bernard Orr)