FAIRFIELD — A Vacaville man was sentenced to 157 years to life in prison Tuesday for kidnapping a woman who he repeatedly raped and abused.
Howard Forbes, 39, was sentenced by Judge E. Bradley Nelson for kidnapping, rape and six other counts of sex crimes in the incident that started in Oakland in September 2011. On top of the life sentence, Forbes also had nine years added for causing bodily injury during the rape of an intoxicated woman, for the original act during which the victim woke up.
Deputy District Attorney Terry Ray said Forbes was “clearly a predator” and said he deserved every minute of the sentence for the brutal crimes.
The victim, identified as Jane Doe, read a statement at the beginning of Tuesday’s hearing. Her poised reading included a tale of how her life has been torn apart since the attacks.
“My life as I knew it ended,” the victim told the court. “. . . The rape derailed my life.”
She was forced to leave San Francisco and her job. She turned to medication to help the physical and mental pain. Hours of therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and other effects of the rape have yet to help her function normally.
The victim talked about her behavior since the attacks driving a wedge between her and her friends and family as she tried to maintain relationships. She said it has become a part of her life and has affected the way she forms new relationships.
She thanked all those who helped in the investigation and the prosecution of Forbes.
Forbes was convicted in October for picking the drunken woman up in Oakland and bringing her to his home in Vacaville.
According to her testimony, she tried twice to escape from Forbes’ home in the next three to four hours, but both times he blocked her efforts to leave. He hit her repeatedly and choked her once so severely that she lost consciousness. She said she also recalled that Forbes forced her to shower to remove evidence of the attacks.
Forbes eventually dropped the woman off at a fast food restaurant in El Cerrito, where she alerted employees that she’d been raped.
After she reported the attack, police tracked down a surveillance camera at a fast-food restaurant in Oakland and obtained video of her getting into a Pontiac Montana minivan around 1 a.m. A bulletin about the vehicle went out to all local law enforcement and an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer spotted one in Vacaville. Forbes was the owner.
Forbes’ attorney argued that the trip to his client’s home and the sex act might have been consensual.
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.