A 37-year-old man was sentenced to spend a little over a year in prison on Monday for raping a woman last year, after seeing significant reductions to his initial charges.
Antonio D. Lightner pleaded guilty to one count of rape in the third degree and one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm last month. He initially was charged with second-degree rape, second-degree kidnapping with sexual motivation, indecent liberties and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
Lightner met his victim online on Nov. 30 and arranged to meet in person in Spokane Valley after he responded to an ad from the victim on skipthegames.com, a website commonly used for prostitution, according to court documents. Lightner picked the victim up, drove her to a church parking lot then told her to get in the back of the car and take off her clothes. Lightner zip tied the victim’s hands behind her back and threatened to use a stun gun on her if she resisted, she told police. However, Lightner left the parking lot after another vehicle approached. The victim told law enforcement that the two did not discuss sex prior.
After leaving the church parking lot, Lightner drove the victim to Boulder Beach and assaulted her there. He then kicked her out of his vehicle and left her on the side of the road naked and bound until a passing vehicle picked her up.
The victim was unable to cooperate in the case due to life circumstances, which was a factor in the plea deal, said Whitney Hall, deputy prosecuting attorney.
Lightner’s attorney, Timothy Note said Lightner’s sentence was the product of a “hard-negotiated case.”
“My goal for any of my clients is to give them an opportunity for a second chance,” Note said in court. “Mr. Lightner is getting a second chance and he’s getting that chance in a matter of months, not decades.”
Two women, Lightner’s girlfriend and one of his friends, spoke in his favor in court on Monday, saying his actions that day were out of character.
Lightner apologized to the victim, who was not present in the courtroom, saying he took “full responsibility for my actions.”
Judge Rachelle Anderson scolded Lightner for inconsistencies in his retelling of the story to law enforcement and for blaming his victim.
“It doesn’t seem like you are taking responsibility for what you did,” she said. “I can tell you that that attitude needs to change.
“I do think you were in a position that because you were paying for sex, you thought you could do whatever you wanted with this person, and that’s where the crime lies.”
Lightner, who was arrested in February, will get credit for time served.
However, Anderson said the terms and conditions of his release will require a “lifestyle change,” including a psychosexual and chemical dependency evaluations, limitations on social media use without approval from a counselor, and drug testing, among other things. He will serve 36 months of community custody, also known as probation.
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