Rapist Sentenced

An Alabama man has been sentenced to 75 years in prison after pleading guilty to raping a 12-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Greyhound bus.

24-year-old Lakelvius Morquez Swain pleaded guilty yesterday to aggravated sexual assault of a child.

A Smith County jury deliberated less than an hour before imposing the sentence. The jury of seven men and five women also fined Swain ten thousand dollars. The Alabama man will be eligible for parole in 30 years. He could have faced a sentence ranging up to life in prison after the judge rejected a defense request for probation.

Police say the victim boarded the bus alone in Dallas in June and was traveling to Longview to visit her grandmother.  The victim said Swain intruded on her while she was in the restroom, put his hand over her mouth and assaulted her.

Swain was arrested in Louisiana after local authorities were told his bus was headed their way. Police said Swain was unarmed.

Authorities said DNA evidence found on the victim linked Swain to the crime.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)