- Rasheed Powell, 43, forced way into rooms and watched partners have sex
- He locked men up and raped women, making them loudly compliment him
- He was handed a 148-year sentence but legal reps asked for 80 years instead
- Trial went on for eight weeks and jury took three-and-a-half days to deliberate
- Father-of-two was in court as four of eight victims delivered powerful messages
- One victim said she hoped he never saw daylight again as she spoke in court
- Powell maintains innocence despite evidence including DNA rape kit, gun he threatened victims with and the mask and jacket he wore that girlfriend provided
- The robber got into crime as a teenager and has spent 14 years in prison already
A father-of-two has been sentenced to 148 years in prison for forcing couples to have sex at gunpoint in New Jersey motels, before locking the men in bathrooms and raping the women.
Rasheed Powell, of Elizabeth, was convicted in March for 60 counts that include aggravated robbery and sexual assault.
The crimes took place in the towns of Elizabeth and Linden in New Jersey over the course of two months in 2012, and there were eight victims – four men and four women – in total.
On four occasions, Powell, 43, stalked his victims before forcing his way into their motel rooms, making the couples perform sex acts in front of him, then locking up the men in the bathroom and raping the women.
Springfield Municipal Court heard how Powell would make his victims ‘loudly compliment’ him so their locked-up partners would hear.
He was caught when responding to a traffic summons in court April 2012. When arrested his bail was set at $3million.
It took two hours for Powell to be read his fate in court when he was sentenced August 16.
A jury deliberated over three-and-a-half days at the end of the eight-week trial. The Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit tried for 200 years but he was given 148.
His sentencing was based on 24 counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, and eight counts of robbery which is a first degree crime.
In addition, Powell was charged with 12 counts of sexual assault, 12 weapons offenses, and four counts of burglary, which is a second degree crime.
Powell’s attorney Erin Cook asked he only be punished per couple, not per individual, so that he would only get 80 years.
He has already spent a total of 14 years in prison and has been in trouble with the law since he was 14 years old.
Superior Court Judge, Robert Kirsch, was having none of it though, calling Powell a ‘serial rapist’ and mentioning the extensive evidence they had against him.
As well as his ex-girlfriend handing in the mask he used to disguise his identity as well as his jacket and gun, rape kits were used to match his DNA.
‘Your reign of terror ends here, now,’ the judge added.
It didn’t stop Powell from claiming he didn’t get a fair trial, however. mycentralnewjersey.com reports he said: ‘In due time proof will come out. I’m innocent.’
Four of his victims were present in court, two men and two women, who shared the stories of how the horror affected their lives.
A woman assaulted at a Route 1&9 motel said: ‘I hope you don’t have the option to see daylight again.’
Powell’s victim faced him to call him a ‘monster’ and told those in attendance ‘I’m afraid of people and what they are doing. I focus on work, family and I go straight home.’ She was attacked at the Swan Motel in Linden.
The Benedict Motel in Linden, now called the Bentley, was also the setting for one of his horrific crimes.
In Elizabeth, his victims were at the Spring Lane Motel and the Royal Motel.
Another woman, who was raped on Easter Sunday in 2012 and asked for him to get life in prison, told the packed court how she has since suffered from panic attacks and had nightmares.
Additionally she has self-mutilated and had suicidal thoughts after Powell threatened to kill her if she told anyone.