GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl who he’s accused of later murdering will spend decades in prison for the first crime.
A judge Monday sentenced Quinn James to 20 to 30 years in prison for the sexual assault of Mujey Dumbuya.
In October, a jury found James guilty of four counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct after hearing James’ recorded confessions of having sex with the girl, who he claims he thought was 18 or 19.
At trial, a teen also testified he held Mujey’s hand as James raped her. The locations of the sexual assaults included a restaurant parking lot, a playground and a relative’s home, according to testimony.
James appeared to almost be smirking as the teen girl’s family spoke at his sentencing.
“He is a disgrace to fatherhood. He is less than a man,” Mujey’s Aunt Jainya Sannoh yelled in court. “He was referred to as a family man, he was referred to as a father figure, but what kind of father figure would do this to someone’s child? What type of a family man would do this to somebody else’s niece?”
Mujey moved to the U.S. from Sierra Leone for a better life. James’ defense attorney argued in front of the judge that James is also a victim, talking about an unstable home life and going to prison at 13.
“Conditions probably closely resembled leaving a country of Sierra Leone; instead of leaving there at 13, he was sent there at 13,” attorney Jonathan Schildgen said.
In the end, the lawyer’s statements had no effect. The judge sentenced James to decades in prison.
“It doesn’t really fix the hurt,” Mujey’s aunt Sannoh said. “The pain is always going to be there, the trauma is always going to be there, but we are glad that her voice was heard.”
James, 43, is also charged with Mujey’s murder, which happened as she waited to testify in the rape case.
Mujey’s body was found in Kalamazoo on Jan. 28 — four days after she disappeared after leaving home to catch the bus to East Kentwood High School.
A pathologist said it appeared Mujey’s clothes and body had been scrubbed with bleach. However, a state police DNA expert testified that Mujey’s blue jeans included DNA from James.
No date has been set yet for the homicide trial.