PHOENIX — A man was sentenced Friday to 35 years in prison for kidnapping a 15-year-old girl, holding her in a dog kennel and forcing her into prostitution for 42 days.
Mathew Gray, one of the girl’s captors, also received lifetime probation.Gray pleaded guilty on Jan. 25 to two counts of sexual assault, two counts of child prostitution, one count of aggravated assault and one count of kidnapping.”This crime by defendant Gray takes brutality and depravity to a horrible new level,” said Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
September 2005, the El Mirage girl was abducted and initially forced to sleep in a dog kennel.
Later, she was forced to hide inside of a bed frame to avoid detection by police.”A 15-year-old shouldn’t have to go through something like that at all,” the victim told the court on Friday. “I’m emotionally unstable. I don’t trust anybody. I keep to myself. I barely talk to my family.”She was rescued on Nov. 8, 2005 by Phoenix Police who were following up on rumors that Gray was holding a girl against her will.During Friday’s sentencing, the victim addressed the court and explained how it was impossible to escape because she feared for her life and the lives of her family.”There was a 9 millimeter put in my mouth,” she said. “Told me if I left or acted dumb or anything I would be shot and so would my family.”Five other co-defendants will be sentenced in a few months. Jennelle Butler 22, and Ryan Rasmussen, 29 each pleaded guilty to sexual assault, as a dangerous offense, and to three counts of attempted sexual assault.Mark Grayned, 22, and Deairick Newsome, 22, each pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault and to three counts of attempted sexual assault.Bianca Vierra, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping and three counts of attempted sexual assault.Butler, Newsome and Vierra will be sentenced on June 9. Grayned and Rasmussen will be sentenced June 20.