A Clark County judge sentenced a Portland man Wednesday to 30 years in prison for beating and raping his former girlfriend. The judge said Charles E. Paschal, 34, deserved the exceptionally long sentence because he showed no remorse for his crimes.
Paschal, 34, was found guilty May 28 of first-degree assault, first-degree rape and unlawful imprisonment. The jury also found that the crimes were aggravated because they were committed in the presence of children.
The victim said the children distracted Paschal, allowing her to escape from what had been hours of torture. Naked except for a bra, the victim scaled two fences in the dark and knocked on the door of strangers to summon help, according to testimony during Paschal’s trial. A paramedic who responded to the scene testified that the victim was so badly injured that he didn’t recognize her, despite the fact that she had been a guest at his wedding.
“You tried to end my life, but I am determined to heal,” the victim said in a statement read aloud by a victim’s advocate Wednesday. “Your brutality will never beat the enduring aspect of this human heart, this one inside me, which thrives on love, not hate. You can never take that from me.”
The aggravated nature of the crimes allowed Judge Suzan Clark to impose an exceptional sentence, which is greater than the state’s standard sentencing range of 17 to 22½ years.
Clark said Wednesday that she had planned to stay within the standard sentencing range. However, after Paschal spoke, Clark changed her mind.
“I feel people are overlooking the hurt that’s inside of me,” Paschal said. “I admit I did strike her, and I do apologize for that, but she did strike me, too. … It wasn’t that big of a fight.”
Clark responded: “You stand here in front of me feeling sorry for yourself. Basically, you’re blaming her because she made you hit her.”
“You have minimized everything that has happened here,” she continued. “It’s absolutely appalling.”
She then ordered him to spend 30 years behind bars, noting, “That’s more than what we give some homicide defendants.”
Paschal’s attorney, Gregg Schile, said his client would appeal the judgment and sentence.
Paschal, a former Oregon state wrestling champion, attacked the 32-year-old woman on St. Patrick’s Day 2013.
Clark County sheriff’s detectives Kevin Allais and Beth Luvera, who were involved in the investigation, described it as one of the worst domestic violence cases of their careers. The investigators found blood spattered on the woman’s kitchen cabinets, dishwasher and living room carpet. Her clothes and his boxer shorts were found on the living room floor, where the woman testified the rape took place.
During Paschal’s trial in May, Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Nisle alleged that Paschal had attempted to murder the victim.
The 12-member jury deliberated for about 16 hours before reaching a verdict. While convicting Paschal of assault, rape and unlawful imprisonment, the jury acquitted him of first-degree attempted murder.