Convicted Fort Valley rapist sentenced to life with parole, but he may never get out

'I was set up,' convicted rapist says

Convicted Fort Valley rapist Darrell Ross sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
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Convicted Fort Valley rapist Darrell Ross sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Convicted Fort Valley rapist Darrell Ross was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole Wednesday, but he may never leave prison.

That’s because of the way that Ross, 31, of Fort Valley was sentenced for the 19 convictions against him in a series of home invasions and assaults on young women near Fort Valley State University in 2015.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Bobbitt said Ross must serve at least 60 years on two consecutive life-with-the-possibility-of parole sentences alone for the rapes of two of the victims before becoming eligible for parole. That would make Ross 91 years old.

He will serve even more time after a jury previously found Ross also guilty of four counts of home invasion, two counts of armed robbery, three counts of false imprisonment and single counts of aggravated sexual battery, burglary, theft, aggravated assault, kidnapping, criminal attempt to commit rape, criminal trespass and possession of tools to commit a crime.

Superior Court Judge David Mincey told Ross that the sentence he rendered reflects “a portion of your life” for the portion of the lives Ross took from his four victims.

Maintaining his innocence, Ross told the judge earlier: “I was set up.”

Ross, who complained of an injury that he said prevents him from running or driving a vehicle, said he had witnesses that were not called at trial and other evidence that he could present to prove his innocence.

Mincey told Ross, however, that the time to present evidence had passed, and he told Ross about his appellate rights.

Ross told the judge that he planned to seek a new trial, as did his attorney, Alan Wheeler of Macon.

Bobbitt said she’s confident that “overwhelming” evidence presented at trial would squash any appeal that Ross filed.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence for Ross of life without the possibility of parole.

Becky Purser: 478-256-9559, @BecPurser