HOUSTON - A serial rapist who victimized numerous Harris County women over several years was sentenced Wednesday to seven life sentences for seven sexual assaults, prosecutors said.
A jury convicted Marquis Tate, 35, of a 2015 aggravated sexual assault of a woman walking along Lyons Road, in Houston.
Tate walked up behind her and forced her into his car at knife-point. He then drove her to a secluded area, where he raped her. Tate’s DNA connected him to the assault.
Following a three-day trial, an all-male jury found Tate guilty in approximately 45 minutes.
“How quickly this jury came back with this verdict is proof that they had no doubt that Marquis Tate committed this crime,” Assistant District Attorney Traci Bennett said. “It was amazing to get justice for the women in these cases. They took the opportunity to face him before he was sentenced and I can only hope this outcome has brought them some sort of peace.”
On Wednesday, prior to the start of the sentencing phase of the trial, Tate cut the proceedings short by agreeing to accept a sentence of life and a $10,000 fine.
In addition, he will not have to face future trials, by pleading guilty to six other aggravated sexual assault cases and received seven life sentences - the strongest punishment possible for these crimes.
“Let this be a message to women across Harris County that law enforcement is working hard to ensure our streets are safe, and this district attorney’s office is making sure these criminals are put away for the crimes they commit,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.
More than 20 sexual assault cases have been attributed to Tate over the past decade. A dozen of his victims were ready to testify against him.
Assistant District Attorney Kristina Roberts prosecuted the case with Bennett.
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