A Richland teen who claims his judgment was clouded by earlier drug use when he twice raped a kindergartner is going to prison for 12 1/2 years.
Zeus A. Turner, 18, acknowledged that he knew it was wrong to sexually assault the young girl and take to pictures.
Yet, in an interview with a community corrections officer, Turner put the blame on his abuse of drugs and his sexual thoughts of young children, and said the two were a bad combination for him.
He had hoped to get a shortened sentence with sex offender treatment, but Superior Court Judge Robert Swisher agreed with Benton County prosecutors that Turner should be locked up for at least the next decade.
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Turner pleaded guilty in November to two counts of first-degree rape of a child.
He was 17 when he was arrested in May 2014, and the case was automatically bumped up to adult court given the severity of the charges.
According to court documents, the girl was in a counseling session when she disclosed that she and Turner had a secret, and that Turner had told her not to tell anyone else.
The girl then gave details of her contact with Turner, even drawing a picture for investigators, and said it happened twice. She said Turner used his cellphone to take pictures.
The victim also reported that when Turner told her to keep quiet about the assault, he said that “girls like it,” documents show.
Richland police searched Turner’s phone during the investigation and found two sexually explicit photos of the girl.
The girl reportedly is continuing to see a counselor to help with the ordeal, according to a presentencing report. She has nightmares and wakes up in the middle of the night crying out.
Turner told Community Corrections Officer David Duran that he quit going to high school after his freshman year because he lacked interest and had started smoking marijuana daily.
Turner said he would watch porn and that’s when he first saw images of child pornography and “read about fantasies that other people were having about little girls,” and it piqued his interest.
Turner told Duran that he used opium and marijuana the night before the first rape and that it impaired his judgment. He further claimed that he stopped when he realized what he was doing.
But when asked why he raped the girl a second time, Turner said, “I have no idea. It was probably the drugs.” He acknowledged he was sober, but claimed the drugs may have had “lingering effects.”
Turner said he can’t be left alone with children if he is using controlled substances because the temptation would be too great.
During the interview, Turner showed no remorse for the girl, Duran wrote.
“At one point, he discussed how much trauma he was going through since being incarcerated in Benton County jail for the last three months sober,” the report said. “I asked him if he had realized how much trauma he had caused (the victim) due to his actions, and Mr. Turner immediately shifted the focus back on himself saying, if someone was in his shoes he would not want them out either.”
Turner faced 10 years and nine months to 14 years and three months. His criminal history includes felony convictions for burglary and two counts of malicious mischief. He also has misdemeanor convictions of theft, reckless burning and possession of marijuana under 40 grams and a prescription drug.
Swisher ordered Turner to have no contact with the girl for the rest of his life, and to register as a sex offender for life.
When Turner is released from prison to community supervision, he must participate in sexual deviancy treatment. He will be prohibited from using the internet, going to bars, viewing pornographic material and holding a position of authority or trust involving children, and will have to tell his community corrections officer about any romantic relationships.