A man convicted of rape, kidnapping and other crimes and who reportedly held a woman captive for two months was sentenced to consecutive life sentences on Monday.
A Tulsa County judge sentenced Victor Willard Hursh, 62, to two sentences of life in prison without parole and four more life sentences with parole possible. The latter four sentences are to run consecutively. He was additionally sentenced on other convictions for up to 40 years, with that time to be served concurrently with his life sentences.
In May, a Tulsa County jury found Hursh guilty of first-degree rape by force or fear, first-degree rape by instrumentation and second-degree rape by instrumentation. Jurors also returned guilty verdicts on two counts each of forcible sodomy and kidnapping, as well as one count each of maiming and possession of a firearm while in the commission of a felony.
Hursh was convicted of crimes related to two victims, but Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Elmore told the court Monday that 15 other women had come forward with similar allegations against Hursh since his arrest in August 2017. Information presented to the District Attorney’s Office indicated that these alleged crimes dated back to the 1980s.
Hursh’s attorney Brian Boeheim argued that it was inappropriate for prosecutors to reference other alleged victims from whom the court did not hear.
“We … impeached every witness,” Boeheim said. “There were consistent, regular issues with credibility and reliability with every witness they brought forth.”
Elmore said Hursh “selected these women specifically because he thought they were not believable, that they were not valuable, that they were disposable. The jury, after hearing the evidence, very clearly and distinctly told Mr. Hursh that is not the case.”
One of the victims testified in May that she didn’t have a permanent home and had been staying with different people. She said Hursh pointed a gun at her in a parking lot and ordered her to get into his van. She told the jury that he held her captive in his residence for about two months before she managed to escape when the two went to a convenience store in August 2017.
She was visibly emotional for the duration of her testimony in May and at one point told Boeheim that “it’s just really hard for me to be in this courtroom” and talk about what happened, according to a previous story. She testified that Hursh burned her arms and legs with cigarettes, kept her restrained on a bed and forced her to perform sex acts.
The second victim in the case testified that Hursh invited her to stay at his residence and pay $100 per month in rent while she looked for a job. She said Hursh became aggressive shortly after she arrived.
Once Hursh used methamphetamine, according to the woman, his demeanor changed and he began to physically and sexually assault her. She testified during a preliminary hearing that Hursh said he would record her and that “I needed to make it look believable or he’d kill me.”
Two other women, whose allegations were not the basis of any charges in this case, also testified in May, describing crimes that they said occurred in the late 1990s.
Boeheim, during the sentencing hearing, argued that the jury could not make an informed sentencing recommendation because attorneys are not allowed to present information on how and where the Oklahoma Department of Corrections places convicted inmates.
“There is little or no chance that Mr. Hursh is going to survive a life sentence,” Boeheim said. “He’s going to die in prison with a life sentence.
“Life without (parole) based on that is, to say the least, overkill. It is just a dramatic effect, and I don’t believe a punishment is to be made with a dramatic effect.”
Boeheim argued that the multiple life sentences would negatively affect Hursh’s placement in prison.
WPX Energy's 260,000-square-foot tower will be built on the block of property where the old Spaghetti Warehouse was located.