Noting the viciousness of the crimes, a judge sentenced a man to more than 128 years in prison Friday for raping two neighbors who were attacked on consecutive nights.
Scott Daniel Artamenko, 24, was convicted last month on 19 felony counts--including rape, anal penetration and forced oral copulation--stemming from attacks on June 30 and July 1 in a North Hollywood apartment complex.
"One of the bad guys got put away, and that's a good thing," the second victim said after the sentencing.
That woman, who is now 30, read an emotional statement that detailed her recovery after the assault and her inability to get over the fear that has gripped her. The only thing she hasn't been able to understand is why he attacked her, the woman said, looking directly at Artamenko.
Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp allowed the defendant to answer.
"I don't know why," a shackled Artamenko said. "I was just sick in my head. . . . I can only say I'm sorry. I would take it all back if I could."
"Shame on you," the victim said. "You can go to hell."
The first woman who was attacked, now 44, was emotionally unable to attend Friday's sentencing, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Steven J. Ipsen.
Taking almost an hour to detail each of the 19 counts, Schempp acknowledged that Artamenko suffered from emotional problems, but she said the lengthy prison term was warranted by his "violent conduct, indicating he is a danger to society."
The total sentence handed down was 128 years and 8 months.
Defense attorney Patricia A. Andreoni-Alcazar said Artamenko never intended to hurt anyone--even though he was convicted of using a knife during the second assault. She said alcohol was a contributing factor.
Artamenko was arrested after the first victim heard screams coming from a neighboring apartment and summoned police. The woman who was attacked on the first night identified Artamenko as her assailant, and authorities found keys from the first victim's apartment in a pair of jeans found near the second woman's apartment.