A man accused of sexually assaulting two women within four months after he was granted early release from prison, now faces 151 years to life behind bars.
A jury in June convicted Steven McCarter, 56, of two counts of rape by force with the personal use of a deadly weapon, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and assault with intent to commit rape against two women. He was sentenced Friday by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Bunmi Awoniyi.
McCarter was released early from prison on Sept. 23, 2015 as a non-violent “second striker” under California’s three-strikes law, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release.
On Nov. 21, 2015, a homeless woman was sitting on a street curb near California State University, Sacramento, when McCarter offered to drive her to get food. She accepted the offer and McCarter then provided her with alcohol and asked her to stay in his motel room. The woman agreed to stay with the understanding that there would be no sex, the news release said.
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The woman later awoke to find McCarter naked with his arms around her neck. McCarter punched and elbowed the woman in the face several times, choked her until she couldn’t breathe, wrapped his belt around her throat in an attempt to strangle her, then raped her.
The woman escaped the next morning and was taken to a hospital for treatment of her injuries and a sexual assault exam. The District Attorney’s Crime Lab analyzed DNA collected from the exam, which later was matched to McCarter’s DNA, the news release said.
The second assault occurred Jan. 23, 2016, after a woman walking in south Sacramento carrying grocery bags accepted McCarter’s ride offer. The two talked about meeting again later that night.
When the woman became stranded at a light-rail station, she called McCarter and asked for a ride home. McCarter picked her up and drove to a liquor store. He then said he was too drunk to drive and asked the woman if they could spend the night in a motel. The woman agreed with the understanding there would be no sex.
When the woman was in bed, McCarter demanded that she remove her clothing and when she refused, he struck her in the eye with a liquor bottle, the news release said.
The woman was able to fight McCarter off and escape. The next day, she went to a hospital and reported the attempted rape. She later identified McCarter in a photo lineup.