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Judge hands down life sentence in Gloucester Point rape case

A former Gloucester Point resident was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for raping a woman during a home invasion last May.  James Kenneth Tustin, 24, was sentenced in Gloucester Circuit Court by visiting Judge Louis Lerner. 

Lerner also sentenced Tustin to 40 years in prison for sodomy, 40 years for burglary and 20 years for robbery, and suspended those terms. Tustin pleaded guilty to the charges in November. 

“I have to stretch my mind to find a word that would describe what happened that night. It’s incomprehensible to a sane person. It’s beyond me,” Lerner said. “Mr. Tustin, there is no penalty any less that I can impose on you than life.”

During the proceedings in November, Gloucester Commonwealth’s Attorney Holly Smith said the victim, a post-doctorate fellow visiting the county for a research project, was asleep in her Gloucester Point apartment when Tustin broke in. Tustin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a band...

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