Prosecutors called the Oregon man “a violent person, a time bomb.”
For two women who dated 28-year-old Justin Hatchell, though, the time bomb already went off. Hatchell was sentenced Thursday to more than 16 years in prison for holding two girlfriends against their will in his Portland, Oregon, home on separate occasions over the last two years.
Hatchell raped, strangled and assaulted his first victim for three weeks in July 2016, prosecutors said, until the woman was able to get away from Hatchell’s home.
“She escaped, and was found running down the street in the middle of the night,” Samantha Osborne, the victim’s mother, told KGW. “She was so traumatized she wasn’t speaking.
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Then, less than a year later, Hatchell kept another woman locked in his bedroom for an entire week in March 2017. Hatchell didn’t want anyone outside his home to see the results of his abuse, prosecutors said. The injuries to the victim’s face were so severe the woman has permanent nerve damage.
Hatchell blocked the door with a wooden beam so the woman couldn’t escape from the windowless room where she was held. On the other side of the door was a wire that acted as “a second layer of defense” to keep the captive woman from getting out, prosecutors said.
The woman wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom, and was instead given a bucket, KGW reports. Finally, the woman was able to get out of the house by persuading Hatchell to release her after using makeup to cover her bruises. Once the woman got to work, her coworkers spotted the signs of abuse and called authorities.
“The trauma these women experienced is just evil,” Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Kelley Rhoades, who prosecuted this case, said in a statement. “The brutality inflicted by Justin Hatchell will be with them for the rest of their lives.”
A jury found Hatchell guilty in February of two counts of first-degree rape, three counts of coercion, seven counts of strangulation and seven counts of fourth-degree assault. He was also found guilty of one count of second-degree assault and one count of tampering with a witness.
Portland police started investigating Hatchell in April 2017, prosecutors said. That’s one month after his second girlfriend was held captive.
“It was traumatic for our entire family and it still is,” Osborne, the first victim’s mother, told KGW. “I feel like he’s not even a human. I mean someone that’s human isn’t going to treat someone that way, do those kinds of things to them and then show no remorse.”
And even in the aftermath of Hatchell’s arrest, his manipulation persisted.
Hatchell sent a letter to one of his victims trying to sway her not to appear in court, prosecutors said. He was then charged with witness tampering.
“This was a level of brutality I have never heard of in my 36 years of practicing law,” Judge Walker said in court Thursday, KATU reports.