Smithfield, N.C. — A Garner man convicted of raping a child, whom prosecutors say he used as a sexual servant, was sentenced to at least 100 years in prison Thursday.
Michael Randolph Finch, 51, was found guilty in less than an hour of seven counts of rape of a child and two counts of sexual offense of a child.
Prosecutor Paul Jackson said during closing arguments Thursday that Finch "tore and tore and tore and ripped" the girl's childhood from her over a 9-month period in 2010 and 2011.
Finch confessed to the crime but pleaded not guilty in the case.
In addition to the confession, jurors had to take into consideration several graphic videos and about 100 photos.
Jurors, some who cried during closing arguments, returned its verdict in less than an hour. None of them wanted to talk afterward, saying they wanted to put the trial behind them and forget about it.
Jackson had argued that Finch deserved a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole under a state statute passed by the General Assembly a few years ago that allows for the sentence if a jury finds that there was an aggravating factor in the crime.
The jury decided that the case did involve an aggravating factor – suffering brutal harm beyond what one would expect – but the judge sentenced Finch to a maximum of 123 years in prison.
Jackson said, still, that he was happy with the outcome.
"He will never be able to serve that, and so he'll never be able to molest, rape or commit a sex offense on a child in our community," he said.
Finch showed little reaction to both the verdict and sentence, writing on a piece of paper the entire time.
The victim's grandmother said she was happy with the outcome although it will never erase the damage caused to her granddaughter.
"There will be no justice ever for my grandchild for what he's done to her," she said. "I pray real hard to get over hating him. It's going to take a while to forgive, because he has no remorse."