Medford man given 10 years for assault
A Medford man found guilty of assaulting his on-again, off-again girlfriend and locking her in his garage was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison and admonished to work on his anger issues.
When delivering her ruling, Jackson County Circuit Judge Kelly Ravassipour told James Calvin Patterson Jr., 38, to use his time in prison to overcome his drug and alcohol addictions and extreme disrespect for women.
"That's a long time to think about what you did and how you're living your life," Ravassipour said.
A jury Friday found Patterson guilty of second-degree kidnapping, a Measure 11 crime that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 70 months, two counts of strangulation, fourth-degree assault and attempting to commit first-degree assault.
Jury members acquitted him of two counts of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and second-degree assault.
After entering the courtroom Tuesday, Patterson glanced frequently through teary eyes at Laura de Larm, to whom he became engaged Friday, until Ravassipour asked him to keep his attention on the proceedings.
Before hearing his sentence, Patterson expressed regret over the violent episode and over his drug and alcohol addictions.
"I wish I could apologize to (the victim)," he said. "I should have been the bigger man, no matter how she treated me."
Patterson said he hopes to use his time in prison to overcome his anger issues and take some college classes with the goal of becoming a drug and alcohol counselor.
Prosecutor David Hoppe had asked that Patterson serve the full 141/2 years he could have received for his crimes.
"The state was asking for more based on the defendant's long history of assaultive behavior and the violent nature of the charges he was convicted of by the jury," Hoppe said. "But the judge did what she felt was appropriate under the circumstances."
Patterson's attorney, Zachary Light, said Patterson is disappointed to receive 10 years instead of a little under eight, the least amount of prison time possible, as he requested.
"The judge did a good job explaining her thinking at the sentencing, and my client is truly remorseful about what he did," Light said. "Ultimately he understands the reason for the essentially 10-year sentence."
The victim and her family were not present at the sentencing.
The victim had a no-contact order against Patterson because of a previous assault conviction, but the two had recently gotten back together when the assault and kidnapping occurred on Jan. 10.
During the trial, the victim said Patterson became angry at her in his Sunset Avenue home. She claimed Patterson struck her with a hair dryer, threw matches at her, raped and sodomized her and strangled her during the rape until she passed out.
The woman said Patterson then put her in the garage and padlocked the door from the outside. When she came to, she said she escaped by cutting through boards covering a broken window and called 911 from a neighbor's home.
Police responded and arrested Patterson at his home. Patterson claimed they had consensual sex the night before the incident, and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Ravassipour said she thought about the case frequently over the weekend. She described the four-day trial as "very disturbing," applauded the jury's effort and ruling, and told Patterson "good luck."
"I hope you take advantage of that time in prison to make positive changes in your life," Ravassipour said. "Otherwise you'll be right back where you started."
Reach Mail Tribune reporting intern Kelsey Thomas at 541-776-4368 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at www.twitter.com/kelseyethomas.