Andra C. Gadson is humiliated and devastated by his conviction in the sexual assault of a woman at an Omaha extended-stay hotel, his attorney said.
His victim knows the feeling. The 28-year-old woman was so reluctant to testify that prosecutors agreed to a plea bargain with Gadson to spare her a trial.
Gadson pleaded no contest to attempted sexual assault and faced up to 20 years in prison — instead of the 50 years in prison he originally faced for first-degree sexual assault.
Douglas County District Judge Gary Randall on Thursday sentenced Gadson to 15 to 20 years in prison.
Under state sentencing guidelines, which cut most sentences in half, Gadson will serve 7½ years in prison before he is eligible for parole. Absent parole, he'll serve 10 years.
Randall decried Gadson's actions. He noted that the woman could have suffered far worse injuries if not for the actions of bystanders who called police after hearing her cries July 18.
“She was screaming, asking you to stop,” Randall said. “The reason you got caught is that other people heard you assaulting her.
“It's a horrendous crime. You destroyed the life of another person.”
A Georgia native, Gadson had been in Omaha just a few days — working to help renovate a restaurant.
He and the woman, who didn't know each other, were in separate rooms at the StudioPLUS extended-stay hotel on 90th Street north of West Dodge Road. Gadson dragged the woman into a room.
One witness said he could hear the woman screaming “Stop!” and “Help!” Bystanders called 911.
Omaha police officers arrived. They, too, could hear the woman's cries. Officers opened the door and saw the assault in progress.
Gadson's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Scott Sladek, said his client needs to address drug and alcohol issues.
“He has never minimized his responsibility, never minimized his involvement,” Sladek said. “He's expressed his remorse. He asked for forgiveness. He's embarrassed. He's ashamed.”
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