Man who assaulted cheerleader in Redondo Beach sentenced to 18 years
In February, a jury found Sylvester Rawls, 47, guilty of two felony counts of forcible oral copulation with use of a deadly weapon.
Rawls attacked the girl in a campus bathroom at Redondo Union High School in August 2003, but it took investigators more than seven years to identify Rawls as a suspect with DNA evidence.
Authorities had gathered a sample of Rawls' DNA following a federal conviction of conspiracy to manufacture PCP, according to a release from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Rawls will be eligible for parole in about 14 years, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported Thursday. In rehashing the details of the case, the paper said that Rawls was hiding in the girls' gym restroom while the victim was participating in a "Hell Week" summer cheerleading practice. Rawls entered a stall and forced the victim, now 25, to perform oral sex on him.
Redondo Union High school has a perfect Academic Performance Index Rating of 10 out of 10, according to the Los Angeles Times' California Schools Guide.
-- Matt Stevens
Photo: Sylvester Rawls. Credit: Redondo Beach Police Department.