Teenage victim was attacked in an alley on St. Paul's East Side while she was on the way to school in 2007.
Five years have passed since Courtney Osgood raped a 13-year-old girl in a St. Paul alley, spurring neighborhood meetings and disrupting the daily routines of East Side parents and children.
But Ramsey County District Judge Gary Bastian did not forget. On Wednesday, he cited the turmoil that the attack created when he sentenced Osgood to 30 years in prison.
Bastian also heard a detailed account of the violence and its painful aftermath -- written by the teenage victim and read in court on her behalf.
"I will never forget," the girl wrote.
Osgood, 21, pleaded guilty in April to raping the girl and to a similar attack on an ex-girlfriend last year -- charges made possible by DNA matches. During his plea hearing, he admitted to raping both victims after first choking them until they blacked out.
He apologized to the families on Wednesday.
In her written statement, the girl recounted how she had been on her way to school -- wearing pink gloves she got as a gift from her sister -- when Osgood approached her from behind on Payne Avenue about 7:15 a.m. on Jan. 8, 2007.
He grabbed her around the throat. She tried to scream, "but it came out only as a whisper," she wrote.
Osgood dragged her into an alley, where she drifted in and out of consciousness, and he raped her. During the attack, she tried to tell herself: "This is just a dream."
The girl recalled the anxiety of returning to school and of sobbing quietly to herself even before someone asked her if she were the victim of the assault. To this day, she makes it a point to not walk in blind areas and to lock the doors when she gets in a car.
The case was one of two street-level sexual assaults reported about a week apart on the East Side. In 2008, authorities secured a conviction in one case. The breakthrough in the second came when Osgood submitted a DNA sample as part of the investigation into the attack on his ex-girlfriend and the DNA matched evidence taken in the 2007 rape.
Osgood had a troubled past, his attorney said.
"Your family has lost you," Bastian told Osgood. But the loss, he said, was nothing compared to what had been suffered by the community.
Anthony Lonetree • 612-875-0041