KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The pattern of Bernard Jackson's life was set when he was just 19.
Commit rape, go to prison, get out, then do it again.
But on Friday, a Jackson County judge tried to ensure that the 53-year-old Kansas City man also known as the "Waldo rapist" would never hurt another victim.
Jackson was sentenced to 18 consecutive life sentences for crimes committed against four women nearly 30 years ago in the Waldo and Armour Hills neighborhoods of Kansas City, Mo.
Because of Jackson's long history of sex crime convictions, Jackson County Presiding Circuit Judge Charles Atwell sentenced him as a "prior and persistent" sex offender, which means 14 of the life sentences include no chance of parole.
The judge characterized the crimes as "horrendous beyond description," and said Jackson had inflicted "unspeakable terror and ultimate indignity" on his victims.
Assistant Jackson County Prosecutor Ted Hunt said "it couldn't have been a more fair sentence."
"The long and notorious criminal career of Bernard Jackson has reached the end of the road in the state of Missouri," Hunt said in recommending the maximum, consecutive sentences that Atwell imposed.
Jackson had nothing to say before Atwell imposed the sentence. Defense attorney Carie Allen said Jackson would file an appeal and is "absolutely asserting his innocence."
Jackson's assertion of innocence was overcome by DNA testing of evidence carefully collected and preserved until it was compared against his DNA in 2010.
That comparison was made as police investigated a new series of rapes in the same neighborhoods in 2009 and 2010. Jackson is now charged in two of the five more recent attacks, though no trial date has been set.
The strength of that evidence kept since the 1980s, along with fingerprints left at one crime scene, persuaded a jury in July to convict him of seven counts of rape, seven counts of sodomy and four counts of robbery for those attacks in 1983 and 1984 against four women who lived alone.
Each of the victims testified at trial how an intruder surprised them in their homes, either late at night or early in the morning, demanded money and then raped them.
Two of those women attended Jackson's sentencing Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Only one wanted to speak. She told the judge that a wave of nausea overcame her every time she heard of another sexual assault in the area.
"My main concern is that he never ever, ever, ever, get out of jail," she told the judge.
Hunt told the judge that the other two women who didn't attend the hearing "have chosen not to give Mr. Jackson any more of their time or life."
After sentencing, Hunt said that even after so many years, the victims are still suffering because of the crimes Jackson committed.
"You can still see it in their faces," Hunt said.
He praised their bravery in coming forward and testifying at trial.
"It's extremely humbling to see somebody that brave in your presence, Hunt said.
He also praised the foresight of crime lab officials for preserving the evidence at the time, even though the methods and technology to test it were not then available.
"If we didn't have DNA, we wouldn't be here today," Hunt noted.
Jackson already has spent more than 30 years behind bars, all on sexual assault charges. He also was a suspect in a string of rapes in Sacramento, Calif., in 1983 and 1984.
He was first convicted of sexual assault in 1977, when he was sentenced to 15 years for attacking a Kansas City woman in her home. But he served less than six years before he was paroled, and within three months, he committed the first of a series of assaults that led to Friday's sentencing.
The first four went unsolved, but the fifth attack in March 1984 led to Jackson's arrest and subsequent 30-year prison sentence.
Hunt said Friday that Jackson completed a sex offender treatment program while in prison. He was paroled in 2008, and less than a year later the first of the more recent Waldo attacks took place.
"He is the textbook definition of a sexual predator," Hunt said. "Bernard Jackson is the reason we build prisons in the state of Missouri."
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