Clintus J. Alford could see his fate coming Monday.
His victims didn't have that luxury.
Alford faced a minimum of 30 years in prison for blindfolding two girls, ages 14 and 12, and leaving them in a hotel room on the demand that they have sex for money with other men. Alford instead raped the two girls while they were blindfolded.
For that, Douglas County District Judge Peter Bataillon on Monday sentenced Alford to 40 to 60 years in prison.
Under minimum sentences for sexually assaulting a child, Alford, 37, must serve 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. Absent parole, he will not be eligible for release until he is 81.
Alford's attorney, Glenn Shapiro, said Alford maintains his innocence, though a jury convicting him after a July trial.
“I'd just ask for mercy from the court,” Alford told the judge. “I didn't do nothing. I'm asking you to show some leniency towards an innocent man.”
Prosecutor Beth Beninato said Alford is the epitome of a predator.
In 2004 Alford was convicted of false imprisonment for taking an 11-year-old girl to his home, instead of an after-school day care, to “play house.” He asked the girl if she wanted to disrobe and have her neck kissed. She persuaded him to take her home.
Saying he had little doubt that Alford had ill intentions, a judge sentenced Alford to two years in prison.
In August 2012 Alford took a 12-year-old girl to a midtown Omaha hotel. He blindfolded her and told her to undress and get into bed. When she resisted, he told her she had to perform to get money. He left the room. A minute later, someone knocked on the door and entered the room. The girl lay there, terrified, as she was sexually assaulted.
At Alford's July trial, the girl told jurors she knew the person who assaulted her was Alford because of his cologne and the way he breathed. She could feel his sweater, she said. And after the “john” left the room, the girl said she left the hotel room and found no one but Alford.
About the same time, Alford did the same thing to a 14-year-old girl. She, too, said she recognized her assailant as Alford by his cologne.
The case was difficult because there were no eyewitnesses, Beninato said. Not even the victims saw the rapist.
“But these girls were just so convincing,” Beninato said.
Beninato said the girls, who were acquainted with Alford, were determined to hold him accountable.
“Most concerning is his continued refusal to take responsibility — his plea that you have mercy on him,” Beninato told the judge. “His victims weren't given that mercy. These girls are going to be scarred for life.”
Alford's brother, Cletus Alford, is serving an 11-year sentence for assault and for manufacturing child pornography. He took video of a girl he was dating.
That girl, 16-year-old Sarah Neal, was fatally shot in June 2005. Authorities have called Cletus Alford a person of interest in her death, but he has never been charged.