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Jury gives armed rapist 55 years in prison

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District Attorney Greg Willis announced that Laxavier Whittley, 18, of Carrollton, Texas, was sentenced to 55 years for aggravated sexual assault after a jury found him guilty. "People have a sacred right to feel safe in their own homes and not get despicably violated. We applaud this victim's bravery as well as the excellent investigation by Plano Police," said Willis after sentencing.

On July 8, 2019, Laxavier Whittley unlawfully entered the victim's home around 5:30 a.m., shortly after her husband left for the gym. Whittley snuck into the victim's bedroom and woke her while clearly displaying a firearm to coerce her compliance. 

Whittley then violently sexually assaulted the victim for over an hour. After that, he demanded money, jewelry, and firearms before he fled. The victim called 911 and went to Presbyterian Plano hospital in order to undergo a sexual assault nurse examination to collect forensic evidence.

Detective Catherine Foreman with Plano Police Department led the investigation, which included neighborhood interviews, a review of multiple surveillance videos, and an interview with a manager of an adjacent apartment complex. 

Investigators identified an apartment of interest where a search warrant was executed. Whittley's DNA was found on evidence collected from the victim's forensic examination, and the victim's DNA was found on a firearm hidden by Whittley in the apartment.

During the punishment phase of trial, prosecutors presented three additional aggravated robberies that Whittley committed in the three days preceding the sexual assault. 

Prosecutors also presented a long school disciplinary history as well as dozens of jail disciplinary violations while Whittley awaited trial. The range of punishment for this offense was 5 to 99 years or life in prison and the jury assessed a sentence of 55 years. Judge Cynthia Wheless presided over the case.

Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Taylor Reese and Calli Bailey prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigators Stephanie Strickland and Victim Assistance Coordinator Ruth Ruiz.