Judge tells former Astoria man lengthy term is to make sure there are no more victimsA former Astoria man was sentenced Friday to more than 36 years in prison for the sexual abuse of a young girl.

John Russell Buckman, 41, pleaded guilty to rape, sodomy and sexual abuse charges in Clatsop County Circuit Court Friday. 'I realize you will serve much of the rest of your life in prison, but at least there will be no more victims.'

- Judge Paula Brownhill

to rapist after sentencing him to 36 years in prison for abuse of young girlJudge Paula Brownhill said the nature of the crime prompted her to impose a harsher sentence than would be called for under state guidelines.

"Under all these circumstances, Mr. Buckman, I feel this is an appropriate sentence," she said. "I realize you will serve much of the rest of your life in prison, but at least there will be no more victims."

The hearing included a tearful statement from the victim, who said she was seven when Buckman first abused her.

"You had no right to do this," the girl said.

Buckman, a former Astoria resident, was arrested last May at his home in Scappoose by Astoria Police and Oregon State Police. He was originally charged with 58 counts of first-degree rape, along with two counts of sodomy and one count each of first-degree sexual abuse and criminal mistreatment. He pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, one count of sodomy and one count of sexual abuse.

In his own statement, Buckman said he was sorry for what his actions had done to the victim, family and friends.

"You should not blame yourself for what I have done," he said.

Buckman's attorney, Ty Settles, noted that his client confessed to the crimes after his arrest and agreed to plead guilty to spare the victim the trauma of a trial.

But Brownhill said while Buckman's decision to avoid a trial was notable, he had originally lied about the crime and denied involvement. She also noted that the conviction was actually his second for rape, the first involving the girl's mother. Buckman pleaded guilty to third-degree rape in 1992.

"To do justice in this case would be to incarcerate you for as long as possible - not to punish you, but to protect others," she said.


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