Published on Tuesday, July 28, 1992
© 1992 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Byline: By Mike Miller The Capital Times
A Madison man who continued to proclaim his innocence today was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the rape of a Madison woman - which a judge termed an ``extremely vicious'' attack.
Anthony Hicks, 29, continued to deny he was the man who committed the rape.
But Dane County Judge Robert Pekowsky said he was convinced that the jurors who found Hicks guilty had made the correct decision, and ordered the lengthy prison term.
The victim in the case had testified at trial that she was certain Hicks was the man who broke into her west-side home on Nov. 15, 1990, wrapped a scarf around her neck and raped her, threatening to kill her if she screamed for help.
Pekowsky said while Hicks gave the appearance in court of a thoughtful, well spoken young man, he was obviously a different person on the night he committed ``this terrible, terrible crime.''
With about a dozen family members, including his wife, parents and in-laws, weeping in the courtroom as he spoke, Hicks said again today that he did not commit the vicious attack.
``I am sorry for what (the victim) has endured,'' he said, but ``I am not the one who committed this crime.''
``I'm going to fight this until I die,'' Hicks said of his conviction for two counts of sexual assault, burglary and robbery, all coming from the attack on the woman.
``The truth will come to light,'' said Hicks. ``I am not a rpaist. I am not the individual who committed these acts.''
But Assistant District Attorney Judy Schwaemle, in asking for a sentence of 32 years in prison, said there was no doubt that Hicks - despite his protestations - was the rapist.
``Let's remember the strength of the case,'' Schwaemle said as she enumerated the basic evidence against Hicks.
That included the victim picking Hicks out of a lineup in what Schwaemle said was a concrete identification ``which surpasses any eyewitness identification I've ever seen''; a composite drawing of the attacker drawn by a police artist from the description given by the victim, a drawing that Schwaemle said ``could be a portrait'' of Hicks; and hair comparison tests that showed hair found in the woman's apartment was consistent with that of Hicks, and a hair found on Hicks' pants was consistent with that of the victim.
``That,'' said Schwaemle, is ``a compounding of evidence that pointed to Mr. Hicks that was overwhelming.''
A side issue that arose when Hicks was supposed to be sentenced fell by the wayside today despite much argument by attorneys.
Schwaemle had disclosed in March that two jail inmates were saying Hicks told them of plans he had to have both his victim and his attorney, Willie Nunnery, killed.
After much debate on the subject, Pekowsky said today the two inmates were ``major big-time liars'' who ``would sell their mothers,'' and said he would not take the allegations seriously.
Nunnery has said all along that he had a good relationship with his client and the allegations by the jail-house snitches were preposterous.
One person who took the allegations seriously was the rape victim. She quit her job and moved out of the state when she heard about them, Schwaemle said.
The one area of agreement at today's sentencing was the effect of the crime on the victim.
``She will probably suffer as much or more than any other victim
I've seen in a sexual assault,'' said the judge.
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