Man known as 'North Hills rapist' sentenced to 61 to 122 years in prison for three attacks
By Adam Brandolph
Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 3:24 p.m.
Arthur Henderson's first victim said she would understand if Allegheny County Common Pleas President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel showed some “leeway” in sentencing Henderson, had he raped one woman.
But Henderson, 39, of Ross and previously of Manchester “chose to do it again and again.”
“He took my will, he took my sense of security, he took my sense of self,” she said. “For his conscious decision, he should be consciously judged.”
Upon hearing from seven witnesses — including Henderson's victims — McDaniel on Tuesday sentenced Henderson to 61 to 122 years in prison for three sexual assaults in Ross and Hopewell, Beaver County, on Jan. 7-9, 2012.
“This is one of the most horrific cases I've ever seen in all my life,” McDaniel said.
A jury last month found Henderson guilty on 53 counts, including rape, sexual and aggravated assault and access device fraud.
Henderson, who represented himself during the trial, said before sentencing that he prayed “for anyone that I might have offended.”
He told McDaniel about his children, ages 15 and 21⁄2, and asked her to sentence him fairly.
“Under the circumstances, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd be in this position,” he said.
Henderson smirked and stared straight ahead while the victims, three of their parents and one of their husbands explained to the judge how the rape impacted their lives. They all asked McDaniel to sentence Henderson to the maximum allowed under state law.
“There is no possible way for Arthur Henderson to give back what he took from my wife,” the husband of one victim said.
McDaniel did not allow Henderson to speak after sentencing. Sheriff's deputies dragged him from the courtroom as he yelled to the judge about a post-sentencing hearing.
Police said Henderson followed his first victim, a Hopewell woman, home from Rivers Casino in the early hours of Jan. 7, demanded money and raped her at gunpoint. He drove to Ross, where he forced his way into his second victim's apartment, demanded money and raped her at gunpoint. Two days later, Henderson tied a man up and raped his fiancée in front of the couple's infant at the Cascades Apartments, also in Ross.
Authorities said Henderson stole money to bankroll his gambling habit.
Henderson's victims and their families sat in the jury box. His second victim took a deep breath and clutched her mother's hand before she spoke.
“I was tortured, imprisoned. ... I accepted that I would die on that day,” she said. “Arthur Henderson took my spark for life.”
The Tribune-Review does not identify sexual assault victims.
The father of Henderson's third victim said Henderson is “less than a man” for using his children as an excuse to try to get a more lenient sentence.
“How dare you?” he said.
Deputy District Attorney Laura Ditka praised police and the victims and called Henderson's actions “sociopathic behavior.”
“This man is pure wickedness,” Ditka said.
McDaniel said Henderson further victimized the women when he chose to represent himself “and tried to insinuate they were at fault and that it was consensual (sex).”
“You are dangerous to the community, you are dangerous to everyone in the community,” she said.
Turning to the victims, McDaniel said they shouldn't look at the sentencing as an ending, but as a beginning.
“Think of where you can go,” she said. “Not where you have been.”
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates trade for Mets first baseman Davis
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Alvarez struggles as Pirates fall short against Brewers
- Latrobe woman texts searchers in Linn Run State Park to tell them she’s OK
- Portersville man charged with homicide of Harmony man
- RiverQuest short of money, looks for a partner
- Rossi: Pens sticking to power-play plan
- Survivors in critical condition a day after fifth Armstrong County car crash victim dies
- Police say Latrobe woman bought gun for boyfriend, who shot neighbor
- Pirates notebook: Players show support for Franklin Regional