Judge sentences convicted rapist to five life terms

Published 11:03 am Friday, September 6, 2013

COURTLAND—A Franklin man got five life sentences for the rape of two people under 13 years old at his pre-sentence report Thursday in Southampton County Circuit Court. Robert H. Sandwich Jr. was the presiding judge.

Steven J. Kent of Franklin, 52, had already been found guilty on June 6 of five counts of the aforementioned crimes.

Although the earliest attack dates back to Jan. 1, 2003, the indictments actually cover a span of six years, which came to light within the past year, said Southampton County Commonwealth Attorney Eric Cooke.

Kent’s actions were discovered when one of the victims came forward to a counselor, added Cooke.

“The police did a fantastic job, as well as federal agents,” he said. “Commonwealth Attorney Deputy Toni Colvin did a fabulous job in the prosecution. We’re so gratified by the sentences. Kent deserves every day.”

Other charges include sexual penetration with an object, for which he got 65 years, 40 suspended, and two counts of aggravated sexual battery of a victim under 13 years old, for which he received a total of 20 years.

Kent is in custody at Western Tidewater Regional Jail until he is transferred to a prison by the Virginia Department of Corrections.