A Phoenix man has been sentenced to 31 years in prison and lifetime probation for allegedly kidnapping his ex-girlfriend and her children, CBS News reports.
In October 2011, Wentworth Hemmings reportedly took his ex-girlfriend and her children hostage, leading to a nine-hour standoff with police. In April, Hemmings pleaded guilty to three counts of kidnapping, one count of sexual conduct with a minor, and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor.
In October of last year, Hemmings reportedly entered his ex-girlfriend’s home in violation of a restraining order. Hemmings allegedly threatened the 35-year-old woman and her children with a gun.
The woman escaped with her and Hemmings’ 20-month-old daughter, but the woman’s 14-year-old daughter, 16-year-old boy and 5-month-old child were left in the home with Hemmings. Police evacuated neighbors and set up a perimeter around the house, authorities said.
According to police, Hemmings opened fire on the ex-girlfriend’s teenage daughter when she eventually escaped. The girl told police that Hemmings sexually assaulted her while holding her hostage. Authorities said that the girl’s injuries were consistent with a sexual assault.
The 16-year-old boy and 5-month-old child remained hostages in the home until Hemmings surrendered nine hours later at around 6 p.m. Hemmings was originally charged with attempted first degree murder, six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of sexual assault, and several counts of kidnapping.
Under Arizona’s criminal code, a person commits kidnapping by restraining another person with the intent to kill, injure or sexually abuse the victim. Merely placing the restrained victim in fear of physical injury is enough to constitute kidnapping. If the victim is under the age of 15, kidnapping is a class 2 felony in the state.
Judge Bruce Cohen also ordered Wentworth Hemmings to register as a sex offender for his sexual offenses.
- Man Gets 31 Years for Kidnapping Ex-Girlfriend, Children (AZfamily.com)
- Sexual Assault Penalties and Sentencing (FindLaw)
- Crimes Against the Person (FindLaw)
- Home Alone: 14-Year-Old Shoots Home Invader (FindLaw’s Phoenix Criminal Law Blog)