Vidalia man sentenced to life in prison for rape

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 29, 2010

VIDALIA — A Vidalia man’s courtroom barbs toward his young victim did nothing to lighten his sentence in a recent rape and incest guilty verdict.

Seventh Judicial District Court Division B Judge Leo Boothe sentenced John Luttrell to life in prison for the aggravated rape charge and 20 years for the aggravated incest charge. The sentences are to run consecutively.

Luttrell was found guilty Tuesday, April 13, in a two-day judge trial.

The charges were filed in April 2009.

Before the sentencing, Luttrell’s victim, a close family member, said Luttrell understood what he was doing was wrong.

“You know what you did was wrong and talked to me about it all the time,” said the victim, who is a minor. “I am not to be blamed.”

The victim said in the statement that the abuse was ongoing.

“I’d been in that situation since forever,” the victim said. “I couldn’t take it anymore. You made me hate you every time you did it.”

She said the memories of the abuse will haunt her and she felt she had no other choice but to report the abuse.

“(You) should love and protect (family), not hurt them the way you did me,” she said. “You may lie to everyone in this room, but I know the truth, God knows the truth and your family knows the truth.”

Luttrell interrupted the victim’s statement multiple times, claiming the charges were false.

“You are loony in the head,” he said to the victim.

Luttrell made a statement following the victim’s statement contending he was falsely convicted.

“Care about her?” he said. “How can I care about someone who wants to accuse me something like that?

“No, I don’t care about her.”

Boothe said Luttrell’s contentions were a turn-around from his trial statements.

“I recall that Mr. Luttrell asked to be put to sleep at one point,” he said. “Why would an innocent man ask for that?

“This confirms my suspicion about what a selfish person he is.”