A young mother got justice Monday after she was raped at gunpoint in her Woodbridge, Virginia home last year while her children were nearby.
Prince Perkins, 33, was sentenced on Monday to three life terms plus 70 years on charges he stalked a woman for months, broke into her home and raped her in May 2014. Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert said he hoped the tough sentence would give the victim some peace.
"She has not been able to get over this," Ebert said. "Maybe, she never will, but I hope she can and this verdict certainly helps that."
Investigators said Perkins stalked the woman for months before he raped her. The day before the attack, he broke into her home and stole her cellphone and spare key.
The next night, Perkins entered the apartment and found the victim and her young son sleeping side by side. The woman was able to get her son to safety, but her daughter woke up and entered the room.
"The worst fear was not so much myself, but him killing my kids," the victim told News4’s Virginia bureau chief Julie Carey. "He pointed a gun at my daughter when she came into the room, so at that point, I had to do whatever it was he told me to do for my kids."
Carey said the mother was able to protect her children that night, but the impact of the attack was life-changing. At the announcement of the sentence, there were tears of happiness and relief for the victim.
"Relief that he was off the streets, and he couldn't harm me or anyone else," the victim said. "It is hard to know you had someone to pick you out and stalk you for months. It changed me in so many ways. I don't feel comfortable by myself. I don't drive. It’s hard to take my kids out alone."
With the support of her family and the team of detectives and prosecutors that stood by her, she pushed ahead with the case, hoping to protect other women.
"It wasn't easy," the woman said. "It wasn't easy at all, but I had to do this to get him off the street."
Perkins continued to say he was innocent and told the court he will appeal.