An Alabama man who forced a woman under a bike path bridge and raped her at knife point in Rapid City in July was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday.
Circuit Judge Janine Kern suspended five years of Anthony Joyner’s sentence and advised him that he will have to serve at least 50 percent of the remaining 15 years. Joyner had previously pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree rape.
Kern told Joyner that, although he had accepted some responsibility for the assault, there was a significant difference between his version of what happened and the victim’s.
“You are not an appropriate candidate for probation,” Kern admonished Joyner.
Pennington County deputy state’s attorney Scott Roetzel read a letter from the victim, a single mother, before asking Kern for a 25-year sentence. In her letter, the victim said she is still dealing with the trauma of the attack. She is afraid to live alone and is taking medication to cope.
“I know I will never get over this,” the victim wrote.
Roetzel said Joyner, 28, attempted to minimize what had happened. Joyner’s claim that the incident started as a “prostitution situation” does not fit the facts, Roetzel told Kern.
The victim was looking for a motel when she approached Joyner. He forced her under a bridge in Roosevelt Park.
The victim ran crying and screaming for help after she was assaulted. She found a nearby police officer who testified at a hearing that the victim was “hysterical.”
Joyner did offer an apology to the court and the victim, who did not attend the sentencing. He asked the judge to consider a probationary sentence that would allow him to return to Alabama and his family.
“This is not how I act,” Joyner said, describing himself as a family man and a hard worker who could become a good citizen.
In addition to the prison time, Kern ordered Joyner to complete sex offender treatment before he is released from prison. While on probation, he can have no unsupervised conduct with anyone under 18. In addition, he must be supervised when he is in the company of vulnerable individuals, the judge said.