OTTAWA — Convicted rapist Trenton Lauf erupted in a Putnam County courtroom Thursday, spewing profanity and traumatizing his victim even further before a judge sentenced him to life in prison for raping a child.
Shackled and his hands cuffed in front of him with deputies surrounding him, Lauf launched into a tirade at the judge, the victim and her family in one last attempt to traumatize the young girl he raped when she was between the ages of 10 to 12.
Between profanities, Lauf maintained his innocence while delivering versions of religious statements he struggled to recall.
“I am not guilty, and I will plead this to the day I die,” he said. “I do not deserve life for a crime I did not commit.”
He blamed the victim and her mother for his criminal case in which a jury convicted him of rape and illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material or performance. Judge Randall Basinger sentenced him to life in prison with the chance for parole after serving 33 years.
The 38-year-old Lauf continued to yell at the judge and the victim. When he first addressed the victim, Basinger stopped him but Lauf said he would not remain silent.
Basinger attempted to read into the record what he needed to do by law when sentencing a defendant, even if it meant at times trying to talk over Lauf.
Just before Basinger announced the sentence, Lauf asked for mercy.
“I forgive you for the judgment you are about to (give) against an innocent man,” Lauf said.
When Basinger announced the sentence, Lauf yelled: “You can judge my bones and flesh your honor,” then said something about goats that was inaudible.
Lauf stood up and made a reference to a murder case while saying “Justice will be served.”
Basinger told Lauf he needed to remain silent.
“I will not remain silent … in an unfair court,” Lauf said.
Lauf continued yelling and using profanity, all while altering his attention between the victim and the judge. The victim sat crying as Lauf yelled.
Earlier in the hearing, Lauf’s attorney, Bill Kluge, said the crimes Lauf was convicted of are just not crimes he would do.
“Guys Trent’s age just don’t start doing this at that age. They have been doing it for years and there is no evidence to show that he has been involved with any young children or girls,” Kluge said.
Before the tirade, the victim and her mother issued a statement. The victim told Lauf he really hurt her.
“What you did was a really disgusting thing to do, especially to a 10-year-old child,” the victim said. “You took my childhood away. You are a terrible person.”
Assistant Putnam County Prosecutor Todd Schroeder said Lauf was a danger to society while asking for the maximum sentence.
Judge Basinger also labeled Lauf a high-level sex offender. Should Lauf regain his freedom, he would have to report his address and place of employment with the sheriff’s office in the county he lives for the rest of his life.
The victim’s mother said she would forgive Lauf and then block him out of her thoughts so she could move on with her life.
Lauf’s actions Thursday were similar to those he showed at the end of his trial. After a jury convicted him, he spewed profanity at the detective who investigated him. Deputies had to restrain him then as they did Thursday.
Schroeder said there was a lot of evidence for the jury to use to find Lauf guilty. The victim, now 13, testified explaining what Lauf did to her and so did her mother. Lauf also was caught with pictures of the girl in a partial state of nudity on his cell phone.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.
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