March 15, 2007
William Beebe, the man convicted of sexually assaulting a fellow UVa student at a fraternity party in 1984, has been sentenced.
Beebe was sentenced to ten years in prison and with most of that sentence suspended he will actively serve 18 months.
In 2005 Beebe wrote a letter apologizing to his victim, Liz Seccuro, as part of a 12-Step Alcoholics Anonymous program.
The letter lead police to Las Vegas where they arrested Beebe who was living there.
Beebe was originally charged with rape but entered a plea agreement and in November pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated sexual assault.
As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors recommended he spend two years in prison. In return Beebe was to help prosecutors in their investigation into whether more than one person participated in the assault.
At sentencing Thursday prosecutors said Beebe had complied with the agreement but essentially was not helpful. There have been no other arrests in this case.
The defense had asked the judge for a more lenient sentence. They maintain that this was not a violent rape.
At least ten character witnesses made statements in court in essence attesting that Beebe was a "good man" and that he had helped many of them overcome their own addictions.
Beebe also addressed the court. He said he contacted Seccuro only seeking atonement. He said he had no intention of causing anyone any harm. He also said he has been sober 13 years and 22 years ago he was mature enough to face what he had done.
The victim Liz Seccuro made a statement outside the courtroom. She said, to my mom and dad this day is for you. It sets right how you were wronged." She also said she forgives Beebe but can not forgive the University of Virginia for not helping her all those years ago.
Beebe was immediately remanded into custody. Along with a one and a half year active sentence Beebe must also do 500 hours of community service speaking to college and university students about the dangers of alcohol abuse and sexual assault.
Beebe's attorney said her client has already registered as a sex offender in Florida and plans to live in Florida when he is released.