34 years to life for kidnap, rape
As his victim quietly cried in the courtroom, Jacob Hampton Hill pleaded “no contest” Friday to kidnapping the woman from a Brunswick Basin ATM in June 2003 and raping her twice.
Hill, 24, of Grass Valley, and attorney Greg Klein struck a bargain with Nevada County Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Kull for a sentence of 34 years to life.
Nevada County Superior Court Judge Albert Dover will consider the sentence agreement at a hearing on Sept. 24, when the victim is expected to speak. Dover said Hill’s sentence could have been 40 years to life if there had been a trial conviction.
Hill was charged with abducting the woman June 3, 2003, as she got into her van after an ATM transaction at the Citizens Bank of Nevada County in the Brunswick Basin.
Investigators said he hit the victim with a rock, bound her wrists, kidnapped her and raped her twice during a nine-hour ordeal that involved driving around the Grass Valley-Nevada City area. The woman, who is in her mid-40s, eventually escaped on foot to a Banner Mountain home, where a woman alerted authorities.
Kull said the victim did not wish to relive the horror of her abduction on the witness stand and agreed to have the case negotiated.
“She drove the result,” Kull said. “This has been absolutely devastating to her life, but she’s a remarkable woman.”
The daylight crime was unusual for Nevada County and sparked fear across the area as authorities searched for the suspect.
Grass Valley Police said Hill was waiting in the victim’s van and struck her head with the rock from behind when she got in about 7:30 p.m.
Hill then dragged the woman to the back of her van, bound her and drove to an unknown rural area, where the first rape occurred. She was raped a second time, but managed to get free when she and Hill began walking away from the van.
A day later, Grass Valley police received a tip and were waiting for Hill at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital with the department’s heavily armed special-incident team because of his history of being uncooperative with police. Hill was dropping his pregnant wife off at the hospital at 7 a.m. for an induced-labor procedure when the team captured him.
Judge Dover told Hill his plea of no contest to two counts of rape and enhancements for striking, binding, and kidnapping the victim still meant he was guilty and was an admittance there was enough evidence to convict him.
The judge referred the case to the county probation department for a report to be brought to the sentencing at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24.
When arrested, Hill had three outstanding warrants against him. One was for failing to pay a fine for driving without a license, the second for fleeing the scene of a traffic accident and the third for possession of methamphetamine, marijuana, two counts of resisting arrest and giving a false name to police.
That warrant stemmed from a November 2002 incident in which police say they saw Hill trying to jump-start a motorcycle near Whiting Street. When approached by officers, Hill allegedly gave them a false name, struck an officer with elbows and fists to escape and had the drugs on him.
Hill attended Nevada Union High School from 1994 to 1997 but did not graduate.
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