Craigslist Rapist Sentenced To Nearly 30 Years

By: Cayle Thompson Email
By: Cayle Thompson Email

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David Gage says he will probably die in prison.

Thursday, the 51-year-old was sentenced to almost 30 years behind bars for the rape and assaults of at least three local women he met through the popular Craigslist website, and it's former 'Erotic Services' section.

Prosecutors say Gage would solicit his victims to meet him at a motel, then flash a fake badge, phoney US Marshals credentials, a gun and handcuffs. He would threaten to arrest the women for prostitution unless they had sex with him.

In at least one instance, prosecutors say he handcuffed a young woman and took photographs of her naked body on his cell phone.

In 1998, Gage was arrested by WPD after soliciting sex from an undercover officer.

As a former member of the military and graduate of the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, Gage admitted he had disgraced the image of officers across the state, and the professions he once occupied.

"I have to accept the jury's verdict, even if I don't like it," Gage said. "I apologize for dragging these women into something that they exposed themselves to."

Thursday morning, Gage told a judge his victims were prostitutes who lied at trial about what happened during their various encounters. Gage accused law enforcement of making deals with the women, allegedly promising not to prosecute the victims for their roles as prostitutes if they agreed to testify against him.

"There are three people in this universe that know what really happened," Gage said. "Myself, those women, and the Lord above."

Prosecutors and police detectives say no deals were ever made with the victims in the case.

Gage admitted he had been pulled into "the dark underworld" of prostitution, and said he was himself a victim. He blamed part of his actions on difficulties at home, including a pending divorce.

Gage, who turns 52 on Friday, said no member of his family has survived past the age of 55 because of genetic heart problems. He asked the judge for a reduced sentence, but was denied.

District Judge Gregory Waller criticized Gage, saying whether or not his victims were prostitutes did not give him the right to take advantage of them.

"You have disgraced your former profession," Waller said.

Prosecutors and detectives echoed that notion.

WPD Detective Sarah Hamilton said some women in prostitution find themselves there as a last resort. She said no woman deserves to be a victim of sexual violence, regardless of their status in society.

Gage's attorney said he would seek an appeal.

Under pressure from authorities across the country, Craigslist recently agreed to end its online 'Erotic Services' section.

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