Man gets 52 life sentences for sexually assaulting 3 girls in Jackson County
By BY JESSICA PRIEST - JPRIEST@VICAD.COM
Aug. 30, 2012 at 3:30 a.m.
Updated Aug. 31, 2012 at 3:31 a.m.
A Phoenix man was sentenced to 52 life sentences after a Jackson County jury found him guilty of sexually assaulting three girls, at least one of whom may have been as young as 6 years old when the abuse began.
Rickie Moore, 59, eluded police for years after committing the offenses in 1988 and 1989, sometimes stalking his victims across state lines, Jackson County District Attorney Bobby Bell said. He was arrested by Arizona police in 2011 for panhandling.
Moore's attorney, Bill White, declined to comment.
The jury found Moore guilty of about half the charges listed in three indictments filed in 1990 and 2011.
Bell said the two counts of sexual assault, 10 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, 19 counts of sexual assault of a child and the 78 counts of indecency with a child that Moore was charged with - some of which had to be abandoned because of the statute of limitations required the victim's outcry to be within 10 years after their 18th birthday - a "conservative" number.
"(It) doesn't count for all those times he sexually assaulted them before and after he got to Jackson County," Bell said.
He said it took prosecutors months to compile the case, and they flew in DNA experts from Ohio, Arizona and Colorado to back up claims Moore impregnated one of the victims.
Bell said for a 17-year-old victim, who can legally give consent in Texas, he had to prove Moore threatened to kill her mother and grandmother if she didn't comply with his demands.
"In my opinion, he's one of the worst sexual predators I've handled in my 28, 29 years as a prosecutor," Bell said. "I'd go to whatever lengths to get him into prison."
Moore will have to serve about 30 years in prison before he becomes eligible for parole, but even then, he may not be released, he said.
"(The victims) were emotionally broke down after the trial and so happy to have this behind them, to have someone, that is the jury, care enough about them and believe them," Bell said. "Hopefully, they feel like they can move on now."