A man accused of using online dating websites to find and rape women was sentenced on Friday. Sean Banks of Del Mar, Calif. was hit with a 37-year-to-life sentence by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein.
The 39-year-old had previously been convicted of raping two women he met via online dating sites ChristianMingle and Match.com.
Katie Kuhlman, one of his victims, testified that she and Sean Banks talked for months. Kuhlman said that he sexually assaulted her during their first date at her apartment.
"He completely climbed on top of me and I was crying and telling him I didn't want to have sex. He didn't listen and he began having sex with me. I cried harder, and at the top of my lungs I screamed, 'Please,' begging him to stop. He got angry, screamed, 'Fine,' and got off of me."A third woman testified during the trial's preliminary hearing that Banks groped her. She also met Banks through an online dating site.
The convicted online dating website rapist did not testify, however he did make a statement to Goldstein.
Banks, who maintained that he was innocent of assaulting women he met online, requested that the victims take lie detector tests.
Sean Banks enters the courtroom for sentencing in rape cases. Live report on @10News Midday. pic.twitter.com/IS1HygNEfYHe said that if the women were willing to do so, he would not appeal his sentence.
— Ashlee DeMartino (@10NewsDeMartino) November 7, 2014
Goldstein wasn't interested. The judge responded by saying that such a request not only demonstrated Banks' lack of remorse, but proved his apparent "hatred of women".
The 37-year sentence handed down to the convicted rapist was far less than what Deputy District Attorney David Williams III wanted. For his predatory treatment of women he met online, the prosecutor wanted him sent to jail for a minimum of 68 years.
Despite the Banks evading a far greater punishment, Williams said that he will serve 85 percent of his sentence before he can be eligible for parole.
Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred attended the trial on behalf of his online victims.
She was outraged at his demand that the women take a lie detector test.
"In 39 years of practicing law, I don't think I have ever heard a statement more disrespectful to the victim and the jury's verdict."She also said that women who use online dating sites with the hope of finding love need "to be aware of the risk".
"Millions of women use these sites with the hopes that they will meet the right person for them. The women often have no idea that many of these sites are used by dangerous sexual predators.Online dating sites have little in the way of plausible protection for the people who use them."If you are looking for love online, you are advised to take all the necessary precautions in order to stay safe.
[Image Credit: ABC 10 News]