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Judge to rapist: 'You have no conscience'

Judge to rapist: 'You have no conscience'

Victim thankful maximum term is imposed on attacker
Judge to rapist: 'You have no conscience'
Ismael Walker, in orange, at his rape sentencing Wednesday with his attorney, Brian Mercy.
Photographer: Steven Cook

SCHENECTADY — A convicted rapist verbally sparred with a judge Wednesday as she sentenced him to the maximum possible term: 32 years in state prison.

Judge Kathleen Hogan imposed the sentence on Ismael Walker for the late December 2016 rape of a woman he'd just met at Summit Towers in Schenectady.

Hogan's decision came after hearing from Walker's victim, who told the court the rape, which only stopped after city police officers responded to a 911 call about the attack, caused her to attempt suicide.

Hogan said she also re-watched a crucial surveillance video of part of the early Dec. 26 attack before making her decision. As she explained the sentence, Walker repeatedly interrupted, calling the case against him lies.

"Mr. Walker, you have no conscience," the judge told the defendant after repeated interruptions.

Walker, 42, of Albany, was convicted in October of first-degree rape and second-degree strangulation.

The convictions stemmed from events in the hallway outside the woman's apartment and in a trash room. Much of the attack — halted by two police officers responding to a report of a fight in the building — was caught on surveillance video.

Walker was acquitted on four other charges, including two other rape counts, that accused him of entering the woman's apartment and attacking her there, before the assault proceeded to the hallway. 

In her statement to the court, the victim said Walker's attack destroyed her life. She said Walker took her trust and dignity, and she continues to have nightmares.

The physical injuries, she said, took a month to heal; the mental harm continues.

"I live with it every day," she told the court from the jury box. "I have attempted suicide for what he did to me. It's been so hard for me to move forward."

Prosecutor John Carson, in asking for the maximum term, said Walker's victim is serving a life sentence of her own.

"That night, your honor, Mr. Walker gave no quarter, no respite and no mercy to the victim in this matter. The people submit that, based on is conduct, the answer is clear."

Walker's attorney, Brian Mercy, said an appeal of the verdict is expected. He also argued for the rape and strangulation sentences to run at the same time. Hogan imposed them to run back-to-back.

Walker did not speak when Hogan gave him the opportunity. He then interrupted her as she imposed the sentence, at one time calling the proceedings a "kangaroo courtroom."

"Just impose your sentence so I can go and appeal it," Walker said.

"You had your opportunity to speak," the judge responded to one of Walker's interruptions. "I am speaking now. And I want you to hear me because I want you to know why I am imposing this sentence."

After her statement to the court, the victim continued to watch the sentencing from the jury box. The sentencing over, the woman addressed the judge directly. 

"Thank you," she said.

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