Attorney General Jon Bruning today announced James W. Graves, 28, of Salem, Nebraska was sentenced 40 to 55 years in prison for two counts of first degree sexual assault. In August, Graves pleaded guilty to the charges in Richardson County District Court. He is also required to register as a sexual offender for 25 years.
“Mr. Graves repeatedly took advantage of a young, naïve girl,” said Bruning. “This sentence is an appropriate penalty for the crime.”
The victim requested a protection order from local law enforcement after increasingly threatening behavior by Graves. On one occasion, Graves hid in the victim’s car and terrorized her while she drove to work and threatened to kill her.
An investigation launched by the Nebraska State Patrol determined Graves had repeatedly sexually assaulted the victim over a three year period, beginning when she was 14-years-old.
At sentencing, District Court Judge Bryan admonished Graves for claiming he had been involved in a romantic relationship with the victim saying, “This isn’t a love story. It’s just sexual assault over the course of several years.”
Assistant Attorneys General Jeff Gaertig and Kale Burdick handled the case.