MARTINEZ -- A Richmond man was sentenced to 42 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to three felony counts related to a sexual assault the judge called "an absolutely heinous crime."

Dameon Spragans, 28, is one of three men arrested for a Valentine's Day 2010 sexual assault on an East Bay woman who believed she was getting a ride home from San Francisco after a night of partying. Spragans was found guilty of forcible rape in concert, forcible sodomy in concert and forced oral copulation in concert, as well as firearm and great bodily injury enhancements. Judge Terri Mockler gave him the maximum sentence for those offenses.

Spragans' cousins, Robert McNeally and Derrick Ware, are currently being tried in the same case. The defense in the trial of McNeally and Ware has suggested the sex was consensual.

It was a little after midnight on Feb. 14, 2010, when, according to prosecutors, the three defendants met Jane Doe and a male acquaintance in the Mission District of San Francisco and offered to drive them to the East Bay. Instead, they allegedly drove them to Richmond, where they assaulted the male acquaintance and left him behind. They then drove to San Pablo, prosecutors allege, where they assaulted Jane Doe, leaving her beaten, bloody and naked as they drove off.

Spragans apologized to the victim in a statement he read in court before the sentencing.


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"I apologize to the victim for the pain, both physical and emotional, and the embarrassment caused in this matter," he said. "I don't want to to be known as a sexual predator."

He also characterized the incident as one in which "all parties were drinking irresponsibly."

Spragans' mother, sister and the mother of his two children also spoke to Mockler before the sentencing, portraying Spragans as a good father, a peacemaker and a protector. Defense attorney Betty Barker enumerated what she called mitigating factors in the case.

"He turned himself in," she said. "The statement he read in court was eloquent. He was a drunk 20-year-old who did things he has regretted ever since they occurred."

Barker asked Mockler for a sentence "in the 20s."

Prosecutor Chad Mahalich countered that 42 years was "an abundantly reasonable sentence. He's getting a gift at 42 years."

Before Judge Mockler sentenced Spragans, she spoke to his family members.

"I have great empathy for Mr. Spragans' family," she said. "They don't deserve this."

She saved her harshest words for the defendant.

"This was an absolutely heinous crime," she said. "I am just appalled at the level of malevolence and complete and total lack of morality shown the victim. And when you were done with her, you threw her out of the car like a piece of trash."

Contact Gary Peterson at 925-952-5053. Follow him at Twitter.com/garyscribe.