A sexual predator police described as a “one-man crime spree” and “a monster” after his arrest last year for abducting and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old was sentenced to life in prison this morning.
Marcus Wade’s Jan. 6, 2010, attack on the Columbus middle school student sparked fear and outrage, and by the time an alert witness led police to Wade’s hiding place after a second set of crimes the following day, he had done enough to be charged with the 14 felony offenses to which he pleaded guilty today.
Judge John Allen declared Wade a sexual predator and put him in prison for life, and apologized to the girl’s mother for what the family had endured.
Besides abducting the 12-year-old who was on her way to school, forcing her to disrobe and assaulting her in the girls’ restroom at Columbus’ Belvedere Park, Wade exposed himself to two 13-year-olds that same morning and robbed a man that afternoon, said Assistant District Attorney Don Kelly.
The next morning on Farr Road, he walked up behind a 35-year-woman who had just escorted her daughter to a school bus stop, exposed himself, and chased her until she got away. Immediately after that, he saw a 46-year-old woman putting her 3-year-old grandson in a child car seat in the parking lot of the Family Dollar on Farr Road, forced her into the car at gunpoint and made her drive to a bank machine in the Holly Hills Shopping Center off St. Marys Road.
The woman was to get money for Wade, but when another car pulled up, she screamed and ran to the other driver. Wade got into the driver’s seat of her car and sped away with the grandson still in the back. He abandoned the car with the child inside it at Murrelle Street and Leary Avenue.
Kelly said another woman in the Family Dollar parking lot saw the commotion and followed Wade, who hid at the home of his girlfriend’s mother. The witness called police on her cell phone to report the location, and officers arrested Wade there.
Wade, who was 21 at the time, was on probation. Kelly said he had been convicted in a purse snatching.
His two-day crime spree resulted in his being charged with five counts of child molestation, three counts of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated child molestation, two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of armed robbery and hijacking a motor vehicle.
Prosecutors were pleased that Wade got the maximum penalty possible, Kelly said: “I felt this is one of the worst crimes that I have ever seen in my life.”