Sioux Falls, SD
A 29-year-old admitted sex offender is going to prison for 80 years.
Kermit Myers received the sentence from Judge Peter Lieberman who said he would have sentenced Myers to life in prison if Myers hadn't made the 80-year plea deal with prosecutors.
Myers sodomized and raped his girlfriend's four- and six-year-old daughters, and by receiving the maximum sentence, he won't be parole eligible until he is at least 80 years old.
Judge Lieberman believes it's a strict sentence that will protect the community from a man he calls not only a pedophile, but a predator.
Myers apologized Tuesday in court to the young girls who he admitted to sexually abusing; he also told the judge he accepted responsibility for his actions.
But a report filed with the court said that Myers also claimed that the six-year-old girl who he abused was the one who seduced him into the graphic sexual encounters.
"That's not accepting responsibility that's blaming a six year old for something a six year old should know nothing about,” Minnehaha County Deputy State's Attorney Crystal Johnson said in court.
After court, Johnson said the 80-year prison sentence fit the crime.
"It was an appropriate sentence in the case based on the information we had received, the abuse that had been done to those children; it was an appropriate sentence," Johnson said.
One of Myers' victims, who is now seven years old, faced the 29 year old in court before he was sentenced. She addressed him as 'Kermit The Frog,' still using the nickname of the man who once served as a father figure to her.
"I'm very mad at you for ruing my life," the victim said in court. “I feel really mad and sad about this."
"I think it's important that the court gets to see a face behind the indictment, behind the initials that are in the indictment,” Johnson said. “I also think it empowers her to give her a chance to stand up for herself and say, 'You did this to me and you don't get to.'”
Before Lieberman sentenced Myers, he said that the 29-year-old man scares him.
"The more I got to know you, the more I became convinced you're a pedophile and not only a pedophile but also a predator,” Lieberman said in court.
And now that predator is going to spend essentially the rest of his life in prison while his young victims try to move on with theirs.
"You hope for the best for them because you know it's a very difficult battle they are going to have to fight because they have to learn what an appropriate relationship is and that has been tarnished drastically by what he did to them," Johnson said.
Johnson said it was best to move forward with the plea deal so the victims would not have to relive what happened to them during a trial and in front of a jury.