Glen Howard was sentenced to 50 years in prison on Tuesday after being convicted of five counts of child rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery. Howard still maintains his innocence.
The two victims, the daughters of his former girlfriend, were six and eight years old when the crimes happened. Howard was living with the family.
He gave an emotional testimony to Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman, wiping his eyes as he pleaded for as low of a sentence as possible within the legal constrains. For a conviction of child rape, the mandatory minimum is 25 years in prison.
He told the court he had no other criminal convictions other than stealing money from his employer.
He described himself as a "father figure" to the young girls at the time. He was in charge of watching the girls while their mother was at work.
He said he never caused them bodily harm and that his current fiancee and her children had attested to his character.
He continued, "Since I've been arrested, after the trial, I had people left and right supporting me to try to help me get this fixed. Many people know I don't belong here. Since I've been in jail, I haven't caused any trouble."
He told the court he had been assaulted in jail because of his charges. He said a man attacked him but that he did not fight back because he did not want to get in trouble. He also described having a positive influence on other inmates.
However, Judge Steelman said the court found the evidence against him "compelling." Howard's DNA was found on towels along with the victims' DNA. Judge Steelman also pointed out that when the children had testified during the trial, they were able to give specific details.
He also said when one of the victims had been writing answers to questions given by a medical professional, the child wrote, "I don't trust all people" as an effect the defendant's actions had on her. On the same report, the child also wrote that Howard had taken money from her piggy bank.
Judge Steelman said during the trial the defendant's attitude toward the victims had been condescending and critical. He said cases such as this with sex crimes against children are some of the worst things the court sees.
He told Howard that while he had gotten many letters on his behalf, hardly any of those people had sat through the trial and heard the testimony against him.
Judge Steelman said, "The court doesn't find that the defendant's testimony at trial was truthful, nor does the defendant convince the court that this is some conspiracy against him."