A jury on Thursday found James Lewis Alexander Jr., 49, guilty of a 2008 beating and rape on James Island.
In Charleston County General Sessions Court, Alexander was found guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Circuit Judge Deadra Jefferson sentenced Alexander to six years in prison, 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson said.
Wilson said the case closed Wednesday afternoon, and the jury reached its verdict early Thursday after deliberating about two hours. Jurors had the option of convicting Alexander of the lesser offense of aggravated assault, but chose to convict him of the more serious offense, she said.
After the verdict was read, Alexander pled to another pending charge, that of receiving stolen goods, Wilson said.
On Oct. 12, 2008, a beating and rape took place behind the Island Bar and Grill at 815 Folly Road. The victim, her sister and another friend had gone to the bar for a night of karaoke.
During the assault, the victim was knocked unconscious and suffered severe bruising. She was treated for more than 20 bruises and lacerations all over her body, Wilson said.
"The victim regained consciousness to find herself behind a wall in a trash pile with Alexander on top of her, forcing sexual intercourse," Wilson said. She said the victim fought Alexander and begged him to stop.
The victim testified at trial that she thought she was going to die during the ordeal, Wilson said.
After the attack, Alexander ran to a nearby barbershop, and was seen by the victim's sister and friend, before he rode off on a bicycle.
DNA evidence recovered from the victim helped secure the case against Alexander, Wilson said.
Alexander was represented by attorney Chris Lizzi. Assistant solicitors Timmy Finch and Spencer Compton prosecuted the case.
Finch stated that prior to the collection of his DNA sample, Alexander was proclaiming his innocence and was confident the DNA would clear him.
After the DNA was tested, Alexander claimed the sexual encounter was consensual, Finch said.
"During the trial the consent defense evolved to an ridiculous scenario that did not hold water in light of the physical injuries to the victim and other eyewitness testimony," Finch said.
Wilson stated that "the jury saw through the defense's repeated attempts to blame the victim for this brutal rape. Even after the defendant testified in his own defense, the jury voted to convict him of using aggravated force in raping the victim."