Former Tiger Transit driver Tony Martin Patillo, who was convicted of the rape and sodomy of an 18-year-old Auburn student last month, was sentenced to a little more than 21 years in prison Wednesday.
Lee County Circuit Judge Christopher Hughes sentenced Patillo to 255 months at a hearing in Opelika Wednesday.
Patillo was found guilty of first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy charges as well as public lewdness charge in a trial that lasted about a week.
Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes prosecuted the case. After Patillo's conviction last month, Hughes told The Plainsman he would seek a life sentence.
When the sentence came back to 255 months, Hughes was not happy.
"That's just over 21 years for what this monster did to this young lady in one the worst cases I have ever prosecuted," Hughes said. "To say I am stunned and disappointed in the sentence, would be a gross understatement."
Patillo faced a minimum of 10 years for the charges, but could have been sentenced to an effective life sentence.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
"I asked for a life sentence because I truly feel that is what the defendant deserved in this case," Hughes said. "While I was not hopeful that I would get a life sentence, I never imagined this. I am proud of the work we did in convicting him, which is all we control. We handled our business. Sentencing is 100 percent out of our hands."
In the case, prosecutors said Patillo raped the student on the night bus and continued to assault her on the side of the road in Aspen Heights, where witnesses saw the incident and reported it to police.
Prosecutors said the victim was intoxicated the night of the incident and was unable to give consent.
Some evidence brought forth in the case, including a video from the bus, showed Patillo assaulting the victim. In the video, he can be heard saying the victim is "knocked out."
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman