A 39-year-old drifter was given a sentence of 44 years to life in prison Friday for sexually assaulting three elderly women in east Ventura and Ojai last year.
Dressed in a blue jail shirt and jeans, Peter A. Stocks said nothing as his sentence was read.
He sat motionless with his long ash-blond hair draped down his back, rocking slightly in his chair as a videotaped statement from one of his victims played to the hushed courtroom.
In the statement, the 89-year-old Ojai woman that Stocks was convicted of assaulting recounted the "unspeakable horror" she suffered at his hands last year.
Stocks was convicted of tying the woman to her bedposts with a phone cord and then sexually violating her. The woman was bound for more than 12 hours before a neighbor heard her calls for help.
Stocks was charged with 15 counts of sexual battery, forcible sex acts, elder abuse and residential burglary for attacking three women.
Although in custody for more than a year, Stocks recently confessed to a district attorney investigator to assaulting two Ventura women--ages 76 and 70. But he continued to deny assaulting the Ojai woman.
To expedite a plea agreement, however, Stocks pleaded guilty to the two Ventura assaults and then waived his right to a speedy jury trial so a trial on the third attack could be held before Superior Court Judge Vincent O'Neill, who found Stocks guilty of the Ojai assault.
Deputy Public Defender Susan Olson asked O'Neill for leniency in his sentence, arguing that Stocks did not rape the women and saved them from having to testify by pleading guilty.
"It is true that it could have been worse," O'Neill said. "Although, it is difficult to imagine more vulnerable victims than elderly women living alone in their homes."
A longtime Ventura County resident who had most recently been living out of his car in Ojai, Stocks had never been convicted of a sex crime before.