A Beatrice man was sentenced on Tuesday to between 26 and 41 years in prison for the rape and beating of a woman in his home in 2011.
Thirty-year-old Joseph Buttercase was convicted of charges including: sexual assault, false imprisonment, strangulation and domestic assault.
Gage County District Judge Paul Korslund ordered consecutive sentences with Buttercase getting a 20-to-30 year term on the sexual assault count.
Buttercase was convicted August 17th following a jury trial. He faces a bench trial on three felony child pornography charges, January 24th.
Defense attorney Jason Troia sought a probation sentence, citing Buttercase’s lack of a prior record and letter from the victim of the assault.
Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Greg Ariza, one of the prosecutors in the case, said the crimes showed what type of person Buttercase really is. He said probation was not even close to an appropriate sentence.
Aroza said the most outrageous part of the case was the deception by the defendant, leading up to the attack on July 16th, 2011.
Buttercase denied his involvement in the crimes, during Tuesday’s hearing.
Judge Korslund called it a “violent sexual assault that occurred over the space of several hours.” The judge pointed out that the victim said in a letter that she would “never make something like this up for any reason,” and the judge said he believes her.
During a hearing on the second case, Buttercase waived his right to a jury trial. The trial on the pornography counts was scheduled to begin next week, but was moved to January.
A hearing on a defense motion to suppress evidence was granted. On the sentences announced Tuesday, Buttercase could become eligible for parole in about 13 years.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice