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Seven life terms in prison are punishment for rapist

Paper: The Kansas City Star
Title: Seven life terms in prison are punishment for rapist
Date: September 9, 1995

 

James J. Hamilton, a rapist whose actions were described as twisted, sneered Friday as a judge sentenced him to seven life sentences plus 447 years, all consecutive. “In my sixteen years on the bench, ”Jackson County Judge William F. Mauer told Hamilton, “I have never seen anybody more depraved and more dangerous to the women of this community.”

Hamilton, 35, handcuffed and unshaven, smirked at Mauer and said an
appeals court would set him free.

“That’s fine,” he said of the sentence. “I’ll give it back to you anyway.”

“When I do get out,” he added, “I’ll be a lot nicer person.”

Hamilton’s behavior at sentencing was the latest brash action by a man whom jurors convicted in August of 16 counts, including rapes, sodomies, sexual assaults, kidnappings and armed robberies.

All the charges relate to two incidents in which Hamilton stalked, kidnapped and attacked two Kansas City women within days of each other in March 1994.

One victim spoke at the sentencing hearing. Testifying at trial was difficult, she said, but the effort will be worthwhile if Hamilton is taken off the streets.

“I know that by putting him in jail I’m saving a lot of other people.”

Hamilton, angry that Mauer would not allow jurors to hear that one victim had been a nude dancer and the other a prostitute, held up a sign for jurors. The sign said, “Nude Dancer. ” Later, he stood and screamed: “They’re prostitutes.”

Before August, Hamilton, a vitamin salesman, had repeatedly delayed trial as he shifted among three public defenders. Mauer ordered Hamilton’s then-defense lawyer to jail in July. The lawyer had refused to start trial, saying he was not prepared.

Hamilton went to trial in August with court-appointed lawyer Joseph Locascio, who Hamilton contends was inadequate.