Budd
Budd

Convicted rapist James Budd was sentenced to 25 years and 6 months in prison but could spend the rest of his natural life in prison for what a judge called the "horrific" rape and torture of a female acquaintance.

Budd, 48, was sentenced to serve 24 years in prison on a count of sexual assault on an at-risk victim -- the maximum sentence allowed for a class 2 felony -- and 18 months on a separate count of sexual assault by Boulder District Judge Thomas Mulvahill at Budd's sentencing this morning.

Budd received concurrent sentences for the other 6 charges, including three other felony sexual assault charges.

But under Colorado law, sex offenders are subject to indeterminate sentencing, keeping them in prison until they can complete sex offender treatment, which means Budd could spend the rest of his life in prison.

"Mr. Budd poses a substantial risk to the community, and simply put, the facts of this case indicate that unless Mr. Budd is substantially contained and treated he poses an increased risk to this community," Mulvahill said. "Whether he can be treated may change in the future. But I'm not about to risk the community's safety by predicting whether that's the case."

Budd was arrested Nov. 19, 2012, after he left the north Boulder mobile home of the victim. The two had become friends in 2010 when she volunteered at the Carriage House, where Budd was working at the time.

The victim told police she provided Budd - who was homeless - with food, a shower and clean clothes the evening of Nov. 18 when he unexpectedly arrived at her door. She denied his sexual advances, at which point he became violent, and repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted her, keeping her prisoner in the trailer overnight.

The victim spoke at Budd's hearing, and said to this day she has not been able to return to the home where he raped her and still struggles with fear as a result of the attack.

"I fought for 11 hours to live, and now I relive that rape every day," the victim said. "I will never be the same after what Mr. Budd did to me. I will never feel safe again."

The victim said after the attack she came forward because she wanted to protect other women from Budd.

"That's where I found my power," she said. "I'm doing it for all women, Budd's next victim, the safety of the community, and it was by no means easy."

Deputy District Attorney Katharina Booth asked Mulvahill to consider the counts against Budd as aggravated and making all of them consecutive, which would have given Mulvahill the option of sentencing Budd to up to 98 years in prison.

Booth said a pre-sentence report found Budd was a sexually violent predator and displayed sociopathic traits. Booth said two victims of similar rapes in Washington have also come forward.

"He has a history that is extremely concerning," Booth said.

Prosecutors also said Budd has continued to deny any guilt, and was untreatable.

"He is in pure denial and therefore is an increased risk," Booth said. "This makes it seem an unlikely and almost impossible task of rehabilitation based on his statements."

But Budd's attorney Kathryn Herold said Budd should be given the chance to undergo treatment. Budd declined to address Mulvahill at the hearing but did write a letter outlining the past work he had done in the community as the founder of Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow.

Mulvahill said for the purposes of the sentencing he would not take into account the unreported California incidents and therefore did not find the counts were aggravated, citing Budd's "unremarkable" criminal history.

But Mulvahill also said Budd's work in the community did not buy him any leniency.

"I'm not turning a blind eye to the efforts Mr. Budd made in the past in Boulder," Mulvahill said. "But whatever good you did is totally eclipsed by your horrific criminal conduct in this case."

Budd was remanded back into the custody of the Boulder County Jail. He is scheduled for a hearing Friday in a separate Boulder case.

Herold also told Mulvahill Budd would be appealing the verdict in his rape case.