AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A man from Waterville who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his 73 year-old neighbor was sentenced to 27 years in prison Monday.
32-year-old Mark Halle entered two guilty pleas to charges of gross sexual assault, burglary and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon last August but then withdrew them after being faced with a possible 30 year sentence.
The victim, Linda Alderson, spoke in an Augusta court room Monday saying she has "forgiven him but she won't forget".
Alderson told the court room she will not let the attack define her life.
Halle's lawyers said he has very little recollection of the attack. Halle addressed the court and asked for 'a little bit of mercy'. On top of the 27 year sentence, he received 10 years supervised release after the time served.
"I really believed that he was going to kill me, I didn't think he was going to leave without doing me in" Alderson said. "I didn't want my family to have to live with the thought that I died that way".
Police arrested Halle on in February of 2016 after he broke into the woman’s home, beat her and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint.
"I said, I have a gut feeling, I don't want to point fingers, but I have a feeling you're going to find him right next door" Alderson said. "You messed with the wrong woman and you're not going to get away with this".
Prosecutors had wanted Halle to serve an initial 20 years in prison and then be supervised for another decade following his jail time.
"I just wanted to bring this to the attention of people that this cannot be tolerated, it just cannot be tolerated" Alderson said. "What he did to me did not define me, I want him to know that I have forgiven him but I will never forget".