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Phoenix man sentenced in ex-wife's rape

A Phoenix man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for kidnapping his estranged wife at gunpoint and raping her in the woods near Ruch.

Wade Lee Katzenbach, 39, the 1800 block of Camp Baker Road was sentenced Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court. Jurors Wednesday found him guilty of first-degree rape, kidnapping, unlawful sexual penetration, second-degree assault, pointing a firearm at another and contempt of court. Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Mejia ordered Katzenbach to serve consecutive sentences on three counts instead of back-to-back.

He hurt me bad, said Katzenbach's ex-wife, Shannon Williamson, of Medford, who testified in last week's trial. This whole thing has just turned into a nightmare.

The stress of testifying landed Williamson in the hospital over the past several days with seizures, which she said she has suffered since the night her ex-husband beat and raped her.

Although Williamson had a restraining order against Katzenbach, she agreed to meet him with her sister at the Ruch Country Store on July 26, 2003, to discuss custody of their son. Katzenbach convinced them to drive to a less conspicuous location off Hamilton Road, said Tim Barnack, deputy district attorney for Jackson County. When Katzenbach pointed a 9 mm handgun at Williamson's sister, then 15, Williamson agreed to get into his pickup truck, Barnack said.

— Katzenbach beat Williamson over the head several times with the gun and drove her to a wooded spot off Little Applegate Road. Katzenbach bound Williamson's wrists with twine, stuck duct tape over her mouth and raped her, Barnack said. He then told her to walk down the bed of a nearby creek or he would kill her, jurors heard.

After walking for about a mile, Williamson flagged down passing motorists who took her to a nearby house where she called police. Katzenbach hid his truck and vanished into the woods. After police had searched for two days, Katzenbach returned to the crime scene because he had run out of food and water, Barnack said.

Katzenbach told the court last week that he didn't remember assaulting his ex-wife, describing an out-of-body experience in his testimony, Barnack said. He claimed the sexual intercourse was consensual.

Katzenbach declined to speak at Monday's hearing. Prison time for the rape, assault and kidnapping convictions falls under Oregon's mandatory sentencing law.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail