TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — Jeffrey Horton has been sentenced to 12 years of prison and 10 years of post-release supervision after a jury found him guilty of physically and sexually assaulting a woman in her home.
Horton was sentenced Friday afternoon by Judge Joseph Cassidy in Tompkins County Court.
In September, Horton was found guilty of 10 charges including first-degree rape, first-degree burglary, sexual abuse, stalking, and several other charges. It was the second time Horton was on trial for those charges after his previous conviction was overturned due to a juror issue. With the guilty verdict, the jury found Horton guilty of raping and beating a woman in her home in March 2015.
Jeffrey Horton Trial: View full Ithaca Voice coverage from the trial here
Assistant District Attorney Diane Lama, who prosecuted the case along with Deputy District Attorney Andrew Bonavia, said the victim has been dealing with the trauma and aftermath of Horton’s crimes for the last three and a half years. She said, “at this point, she’s moving on with her life.” Though the woman was present at the sentencing Friday, she did not give another statement. Instead, Lama read her statement from the first sentencing on July 22, 2016.
“It has been 16 months, nearly 473 days and it feels like a lifetime, my lifetime of fear, trauma, disbelief, pain, sadness, anxiety, anger and most of all, pure disgust that allowed me to be determined not to let this case win,” Lama read. She said the victim has had fear of Horton, fear for her children. She said she changed jobs and moved. She also detailed the “whispers, stares” and degrading comments she has endured through the court process.
“As you said last year, ‘Let the truth come out in the trial.’ Guilty. That is the truth,” she said in the statement. “It has been a nightmare. There have been numerous times that I have thought, ‘This can’t be happening to me,’ but it did and it continues today.”
After finishing the statement, Lama said the woman was ambushed in her home while she was sleeping.
“A person should feel the safest when she is in her own home, and she will never feel that way again,” Lama said.
Horton was defended by attorneys Jerome Mayersak and Kristine Shaw. At the sentencing, Mayersak said Horton maintains his innocence.
Horton did not testify in the second trial, but in the previous trial, he admitted to slapping the woman for 10 to 15 seconds but denied raping the woman. Instead, he said they had consensual make-up sex after he hit her. Horton did not testify in the second trial.
Horton did address Judge Cassidy and the court Friday. He revisited some of the evidence in the trial. He also apologized to the victim, saying, “I did send her derogatory texts and I did hit her back. I was wrong.”
Cassidy told Horton he had been convicted of terrible, violent crimes and said Horton’s statements Friday “show you continue to lack remorse or insight. You were not convicted of sending nasty texts.”
The sentence Horton received Friday is the same as the previous trial. In total, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison and 10 years of post-release supervision. In addition to the prison sentence, Horton will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and the victim and her family were granted an order of protection.
A jury convicted Horton of 10 charges, though a charge of unlawful imprisonment was dropped before sentencing. The charges include:
- Burglary in the first degree
- Rape in the first degree
- Criminal sex act in the first degree
- Aggravated sexual abuse in the third degree
- Sexual abuse in the first degree
- Assault in the third degree
- Stalking in the third degree
- Stalking in the fourth degree
- Menacing in the third degree
Featured image: Jeffrey Horton listens on as Jerome Mayersak presents opening statements on Sept. 21. (Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice)