A man who raped and robbed a number of women he met through Backpage.com could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Anthony Antonio Hayes was sentenced Friday in Pierce County Superior Court to 25 years to life.
The terms of the sentence handed down by Judge Garold Johnson mean Hayes must serve a minimum of 25 years. It then will be up to the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board to determine if and when the 23-year-old man is released.
Hayes spoke at sentencing, telling Johnson: “I would like to apologize to the victims for their hardship and tribulations. And I would like to move forward with my life.”
He said he hopes to pursue education or work-skills programs while incarcerated in the hopes of preparing himself for re-entry into society should he one day be released.
Johnson admonished Hayes before handing down the sentence recommended by both the prosecution and defense.
“There’s absolutely no excuse,” the judge told Hayes. “And you’re not offering one.”
Hayes pleaded guilty last month to first-degree rape, three counts of first-degree robbery, three counts of unlawful imprisonment, felony harassment, second-degree rape and second-degree assault for a series of attacks that took place in late 2015 and early 2016.
Charging papers give this account:
Hayes met a woman who works as an escort through Backpage.com, and they met Nov. 23, 2015, at a motel in the 2100 block of South 48th Street.
The woman brought Hayes to her room, and he held a razor knife to her neck and raped her.
“Be quiet, don’t say a word or I’ll kill you,” he told the woman.
Then he left with her cellphone, ID and $240.
The next attack occurred Jan. 9, 2016.
Hayes used Backpage.com to arrange to meet a woman who works as a prostitute at a motel near Tacoma Mall Boulevard and South 66th Street. Once in the room, Hayes held a folding knife to the woman’s neck and said: “We can do this the easy way or hard way.”
He then raped her and robbed her of $70.
A short time later, charging papers show, Hayes called one of the woman’s friends about her own Backpage.com ad. She asked him to send a photo of himself, which she later gave to police.
Investigators identified Hayes as the attacker after matching that photo to one sent by police in Mississippi, where Hayes had been arrested on suspicion of a similar robbery.
Finally, on Feb. 24, 2016, Hayes robbed yet another woman he met through the website.
Prosecutors said Hayes met the woman at a hotel near South 84th Street and South Hosmer Street. When they got into the room, he forced her take off her clothes at gunpoint, took her iPhone and about $500 and then left.
Officers arrested Hayes and booked him into the Pierce County Jail the next day.
None of the victims attended Friday’s sentencing.