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A Minnesota man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping a woman at gunpoint in Minneapolis 16 years ago.
Robert DeLong, 63, will spend the next three decades in prison after he pleaded guilty to assaulting the victim who was jogging on Boom Island in Minneapolis in March 2007.
Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty’s office told Fox News Digital that 30 years is the “longest possible sentence” for DeLong’s crimes.
“The victim’s courage in the moments after this attack are a significant reason we were able to prosecute this case and hold Mr. DeLong accountable,” Moriarty said in a statement. “My heart goes out to her and her family, and I’m hopeful this sentence and legal closure will help them move forward.
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Robert DeLong, 63, will spend the next three decades in prison after he pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman jogging on Boom Island in Minneapolis in March 2007. (Hennepin County)
“We are deeply committed to prioritizing the prosecution of violent crime. The message this conviction and sentence sends is that if you commit acts of violence you will be held accountable in Hennepin County, no matter how long it takes.”
DeLong approached the woman while she was jogging, pulled out a handgun and ordered her to perform oral sex.
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“He held the gun to her head and threatened to kill her if she did not comply,” a statement of probable cause says. DeLong then fled.
In 2007, scientists were able to link DNA from the crime to DeLong. However, in a string of tragic events, the victim was later severely injured in a deadly car crash while on a ski trip out West and could no longer participate in the criminal justice process.
DeLong had approached the woman while she was jogging, showed a handgun and ordered her to perform oral sex. (Hennepin County)
Prosecutors dropped the sexual assault charges as a result, FOX 9 Minneapolis first reported.
In 2016, the charges were refiled against DeLong based on new rules that allow for certain evidence and statements to be presented against a suspect without testimony from the victim, according to FOX 9. He pleaded guilty in March.
DeLong was already serving a prison sentence at the time of his plea for robbing a bank in 2007. The robbery occurred just days after he attacked the woman on Boom Island, according to federal court documents.
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Sheila Biernat, a relative of the victim, told FOX 9 outside the courtroom Thursday the victim “will definitely feel a sense of relief and excitement and just gratefulness for the sentence” but “will not understand it.”
Judge Carolina Moss remarked that “one less predator is out there who can do damage to another woman” after sentencing DeLong, FOX 9 reported.
Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to [email protected] or on Twitter at @audpants.