Sunday, April 22, 2018
News Roundup

Door-to-door security salesman sentenced to life in prison for rape, beating

TAMPA — His job was to sell security, but now he'll spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Rashad Hales, 20, was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison along with three consecutive 30-year sentences after forcing his way into a Town 'N Country home, beating a woman who was home alone and raping her.

Deputies said he called himself a "psychopath." He said his only regret was not killing her.

"Her only mistake that day was opening her door to someone supposed to be selling safety and security," prosecutor Rita Peters said at the sentencing hearing. The state advocated for the maximum sentence of life in prison.

After forcing his way into the 19-year old woman's trailer in 2011, deputies said, Hales choked her and held a cord to her neck.

He bent her over a sink, saying he'd pour bleach down her throat, the judge recalled Wednesday. He held a knife to her side, saying he'd kill her. He beat her. He raped her.

It took less than an hour for a jury to convict Hales of three counts of sexual assault, as well as armed burglary with assault or battery on May 15.

Hales' attorney argued Wednesday that because this was his first offense as an adult, the sentence should not be as hefty. State records show Hales was charged with battery when he was 14 and trespassing when he was 15.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Chet Tharpe said because of the heinous nature of the crime, he wanted to make sure Hales would "never, ever get out of Florida State Prison."

"Regardless of if this is his first offense or his 100th offense," Tharpe said before handing down a life sentence. "You are a dangerous person, Mr. Hales."

Charles Scudder can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3111.

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