A former Mitchell softball coach was sentenced Tuesday morning to five years in prison for raping a 14-year-old girl last August.
Andrew Murphy, 37, was convicted of fourth-degree rape, a Class 3 felony, and was sentenced to 15 years in the state penitentiary with 10 years suspended and credit for the one day he served in jail following his arrest. He has until 10 a.m. Thursday to turn himself in to begin his sentence.
Murphy was sentenced at the Davison County Public Safety Center after the victim's mother and Deputy State's Attorney Bob O'Keefe stated that the rape was a violation of his position of power as someone who worked with children for a living.
"If there's one person that should know that line, it's this guy, and he chose to ignore it," O'Keefe said.
Murphy was arrested on Aug. 28, a week after the rape. The victim's mother read a statement in court saying that Murphy had spent months leading up to the offense "grooming" the victim, and that when the girl was asked why she participated, she said she "didn't want him to be mad" at her.
Murphy, who was previously a coach on the Mitchell JV softball team, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape in February.
"I can't express how badly I feel about what I did," he said. "I know I can't take these actions back, but I want to do whatever I can to make it right."
Murphy's attorney, Doug Papendick, asked for a suspended imposition of sentence, arguing that a pre-sentence investigation found that Murphy, who recently graduated from Mitchell Technical Institute and has a lack of criminal history, had a low risk of reoffending.
"We understand that the family in this case is seeking retribution in this case for what happened," Papendick said. "Plain and simple, (a penitentiary sentence) would be revenge."
Judge Chris Giles said his sentencing decision differed from the one he originally planned to make based on what was said in court.
"You appear to be a productive member of society with a family to support. But I really struggle with what I heard today and what you did," Giles said. "You have significantly impacted this girl's life in a very negative and detrimental way. And what you did can't be undone."
In addition to his prison sentence, Murphy was also ordered to pay more than $3,400 in restitution.