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Man known as 'North Hills rapist' sentenced to 61 to 122 years in prison for three attacks

| Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 3:24 p.m.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Arthur Henderson

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 2 12, 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 abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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