For what Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller considered a crime causing a “lifetime of damage,” the sentence from the bench for Brandon Scott Nix totalled 50 years in prison.
“It’s been a number of years since the court has heard a case as egregious and as heinous as this case,” Fuller said. “The court can only attribute it to pure fate that (the victim) is still alive.”
Nix was found guilty Thursday of attempted rape and multiple other charges.
The 28-year-old Gainesville man was charged in a November 2014 incident where he was also accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in East Hall.
He elected not to testify after the second day of evidence Wednesday.
The jury took to deliberations Thursday morning and returned after 3 p.m. with the verdict, convicting Nix on five of the six charges presented from the indictment. On the aggravated sodomy count, the jury elected to convict on the lesser-included offense of sexual battery.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Bagwell read a list of prior convictions in a recidivist notice before asking for maximum sentences on all charges.
Nix’s mother Debra and father Michael approached the witness stand after the verdict, testifying that their son was a hard worker and had recently become a father.
“He’s a good, caring person,” Debra Nix said.
The victim provided a letter to Bagwell to read as a victim-impact statement, informing Fuller of the lost sleep and endless questions after the assault.
The 17-year-old said she had a traumatizing fear of Barrett Road and had avoided it since the Nov. 2, 2014, incident, where she was grabbed and brought to Nix’s Wood Creek Place home.
The incident was broken up by Nix’s girlfriend Brenda Baker, who came home shortly after Nix and the victim arrived.
Baker was originally charged with reckless conduct, but Bagwell filed a dismissal before the trial started.
Nix’s attorney William Hollingsworth said he was satisfied with the verdict because of the sentencing guidelines for the charges.
“He was looking at life with no parole,” he said. “Because they found him not guilty of the aggravated sodomy, that brought it down to where he had a better sentence.”
Aggravated sodomy carries a maximum life prison sentence, but Hollingsworth argued heavily in closing arguments that there was not sufficient evidence to prove the charge.
Hollingsworth said a new trial motion would be filed.
Fuller handed down a 30-year prison sentence for the attempted rape consecutive to a 20-year prison sentence for kidnapping. Two guilty counts of sexual battery equal 24 months of probation, with 10 years and 20 years for false imprisonment and aggravated assault, respectively.
“This is the type of crime that you do a lifetime of damage to your victim,” Fuller said.