COLUMBIA — Zachery Jones, 23, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for first-degree rape and five years in prison for attempted rape in the first degree. The terms will run consecutively for a total of 18 years, and Jones will receive credit for his time already served, according to CaseNet.
Jones was originally charged with a count of sodomy as well, but that charge was dropped when he pled guilty to both rape charges in a plea agreement, said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jessica Caldera.
According to the probable cause statement, Jones approached two women in the early hours of March 5, 2016. He attempted to rape the first victim at the intersection of University and Hitt streets; when she escaped and called the police, he fled the scene and approached the second victim 20 minutes later near her MU residence hall.
“At about 100 feet away from my dorm, right across from the Student Center, (I could not have been more in the center of campus), I was so excited to crawl into bed and fall asleep,” the second victim wrote in her Victim Impact Statement. “But then, suddenly, I was tackled from behind and slammed into the concrete by a man hiding in the bushes.”
Caldera believes that while it may be human nature for victims to wish they’d made different decisions, even when they do everything right, someone like Jones can still make them a victim.
The second victim “lived on the Mizzou campus and she was walking home, another thing she should be able to do,” Caldera said.
“One year or one hundred years in prison, I will still be a victim of rape and I will have to live with that for the rest of my life,” the victim wrote. “What (Jones) did to me will always be a part of my life, but I will never let it define who I am or what I’m worth. My past does not define my future.”
Jones must serve at least 85 percent of his 13-year sentence, about 11 years, and 40 percent of his five-year sentence, two years, before he can be eligible for parole. He also must complete the Missouri Sex Offender Treatment Program before he can even be considered eligible, Caldera said.
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