Richland man to serve at least 22 years for rape

By Michelle Dupler, Tri-City HeraldMarch 2, 2013 

A 31-year-old Richland man sentenced to at least 22 years in prison Friday told a Franklin County judge that he was confused by his rape conviction and maintained his innocence.

Jonathan Keenan Gordon was convicted of second-degree rape and second-degree assault stemming from a 2011 attack of a 19-year-old Pasco woman.

Charges against a second man alleged to be involved in the incident were dropped by Franklin County prosecutors for lack of evidence.

The victim told investigators that Gordon and another man took her to a Pasco apartment, where Gordon raped her while the second man held her down.

She told investigators she feared the two men would use a nearby knife on her if she resisted.

But Gordon during his sentencing hearing in Superior Court on Friday said that two witnesses during his trial testified that he hadn't committed the crime.

"How did I get found guilty?" Gordon asked. "That's crazy. I didn't know that was possible for that to happen."

Judge Robert Swisher explained to Gordon that a jury heard lots of evidence and found him guilty of the rape and assault.

Gordon's attorney, Shelley Ajax of Kennewick, provided Swisher on the spot with a notice that Gordon is appealing his conviction. He remains in custody pending his appeal.

Deputy Prosecutor Maureen Lorincz asked Swisher to impose a sentence of at least 22 years based on Gordon's prior criminal history -- including a first-degree robbery conviction -- and his denial of guilt in the case.

"His arrogance, quite frankly, is what is causing this sentence," she said.

Gordon could spend up to life in prison, depending on a decision by the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board once he's served the 22-year minimum. If released, he faces three years of probation.

Swisher also ordered Gordon to have no contact with the victim.

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