A former supervisor at a Buckley facility for adults with developmental disabilities was sentenced Friday for trying to rape one resident and inappropriately touching another.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Timothy Ashcraft sentenced Terry Wayne Shepard to from 24 1/2 years in prison to life.
That means the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board will decide when or if the 62-year-old is released.
Shepard was a supervisor at the Rainier School, a live-in facility run by the state Department of Social and Health Services that houses about 310 adults.
The judge said victims in the case clearly were some of society’s most vulnerable.
“Mr. Shepard, it was your job to help look after these residents, and by the verdict of the jury you violated that trust,” Ashcraft said.
Defense attorney Aaron Talney acknowledged Shepard had been charged and convicted of a terrible crime, but he argued that his client wasn’t subject under state law to such an exceptional sentence above the standard range.
Ashcraft agreed with deputy prosecutor Sven Nelson, who said he was.
“It was an egregious case, and it calls for an exceptional sentence,” Nelson told the court.
A jury convicted Shepard of attempted second-degree rape and two counts of indecent liberties in June.
Before he was sentenced, Shepard told Ashcraft he had worked hard at Rainier School, because he loved the job.
“I tried my best, because I cared,” he said.
He said he was heartbroken about the accusations against him.
“I’m not that person,” told the judge.
Shepard was fired and arrested after another employee reported walking in on him apparently sexually assaulting a non-verbal autistic patient, 59-year-old Maryann Stallone, in November 2016.
Stallone, who has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old, sued the state last year. She and her family alleged that more should have been done to prevent the assault.
After Shepard’s arrest, Stallone’s roommate, who has cerebral palsy, reported that he had previously touched her inappropriately.
Prosecutors charged Shepard with indecent liberties for that, and with second-degree rape for sexual assault of Stallone.
Shepard argued at trial that there wasn’t DNA evidence to prove rape, and jurors ultimately convicted him of the lesser crime of attempted rape.
Stallone’s brother, Peter Stallone, told the court that Shepard’s actions had caused the family extreme stress.
“We assumed that she was in a safe protective environment and that it was the best place for her,” he said.
Shepard, Stallone’s brother told the judge, “does not see anything wrong with using a helpless person for his own gratification.”
Cathy McIvor, Stallone’s sister who lives out of state, told The News Tribune she was relieved to hear about the sentence.
“I’m just so glad that he’s probably going to be locked up for the rest of his life,” she said.