MEDFORD, Ore. — A local man accused of sexually assaulting and robbing a woman in broad daylight in April entered a guilty plea on Friday, earning a sentence of twenty years in prison.
65-year-old Marc Alan Burnett was indicted by a Jackson County grand jury on April 21 following his arrest just days earlier.
In a statement, the Jackson County District Attorney's office delivered a harrowing account of what happened on April 14, when the crime occurred. Shortly before 10 a.m. that morning, a 70-year-old woman was walking back to her apartment after shopping at Batteries Plus near Crater Lake Highway.
"As she approached the intersection of Coker Butte Road and Crater Lake Avenue she heard the sound of gravel and saw a male (later identified as Mr. Burnett) following her," the DA's office said. "The victim was nervous and wrapped her arm around her purse. She proceeded east on Coker Butte and planned on cutting through the field behind Blue Dog RV to get to her apartment."
When the woman entered that field, the DA's office says that Burnett grabbed her from behind. The victim hit him several times with her purse, but Burnett drew a knife and held it to her throat — pulling her along a fence-line toward some bushes. Burnett threw the woman to the ground and forced her to move further back into the bushes.
According to the DA's office, Burnett then sexually assaulted the victim — threatening to kill her when she kicked him in the groin. Once it was over, Burnett grabbed the woman's purse, stealing her credit card and cell phone.
The victim went to her sister's apartment and called 911 immediately. According to the DA's statement, she had suffered several scratches from the knife and from being thrown to the ground.
At the scene of the assault, a detective recovered a hat that belonged to Burnett. Within a day, detectives had identified Burnett as the suspect, distributing his description to other local agencies.
"Jackson County Community Justice, who currently supervised his parole on a Rape in the First-Degree conviction from 1988, called Medford Police Department to indicate that the description sounded similar to Mr. Burnett," the DA's office said.
Detectives were able to pull video from the north Medford Walmart showing Burnett trying to use the victim's credit card just a few hours after the assault. He was also seen on a Talent Police Officer's bodycam footage from a few days prior to the attack, wearing the hat that was recovered at the scene.
On April 15, officers found Burnett at Rogue Federal Credit Union on Center Drive. Burnett was taken in to the Medford Police station and "admitted to the majority of the incident" during an interview.
On Friday, Burnett entered guilty pleas for Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree, Robbery in the First Degree, and Assault in the Second Degree in Jackson County Circuit Court. Judge Timothy Gerking passed a sentence of 20 years in state prison.
"The entirety of this sentence is Measure 11 time, meaning that Mr. Burnett should serve every day of those twenty years before release on post-prison supervision," the DA's office said.