Mesa man gets 16 years to life for sexually assaulting girl
While protesting his innocence and insisting he and his wife were victims, a Mesa man was sentenced this morning to 16 years to life in prison for repeatedly sexually assaulting a young girl.
Rodney Eddy, 69, a former church deacon, Plateau Valley School board member, retired police officer and decorated Vietnam War combat veteran, could have received a maximum 32 years in prison for each of the four instances a jury found he had sexually assaulted a young girl between 2003 and 2008, while the girl had lived at Eddy’s former home in Mesa.
Eddy this morning asked for a “merciful” sentence from District Judge Valerie Robison, claiming he was in failing health.
“I would like to spend my last few days with my wife so I might die at home rather than die in a prison,” Eddy told Robison, standing before the judge.
In an interview with court officials prior to sentencing, Eddy claimed he and wife were victims in the wake Eddy’s jury trial convictions after they had sunk their life savings into his defense to the charges in two trials, Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Savage told the judge. The prosecutor attacked that notion.
“The only one true victim in this case testified on that witness stand twice before a group of strangers,” Savage said.
A jury convicted Eddy in August on eight felony counts, including sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, and sexual assault on a child as a pattern abuse, related to four specific sexual encounters with the victim in the case. The assaults started in the summer of 2003 and she reported the incidents to authorities in May 2008. The girl testified she didn’t come forward earlier because she didn’t think it was wrong.
During Eddy’s first trial in February, a jury was deadlocked on the sex-assault charges, but convicted him on a lone count of felony obscenity.
Read the full story in Tuesday’s Daily Sentinel.