Gary Dale Baker – Sacramento Police booking photo
SACRAMENTO—A judge has sentenced a former Sacramento police officer to more than 60 years in prison for repeatedly raping an elderly stroke victim.
On Tuesday, November 10, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ernest Sawtelle called the crimes of Gary Dale Baker, 52, unspeakable, and said the disgraced beat cop will spend 62 years to life in state prison.
“It is impossible for anybody involved in this case to imagine the depravity in one’s heart. It is difficult to imagine a more vulnerable victim,” Sawtelle told Baker. “You tarnished the badge for police officers everywhere. For your crimes, you will be sentenced to life in prison.”
The off-duty attacks on the 75-year-old woman first took place in November 2010 at her Florin Road-area apartment in a senior living complex. Subsequent attacks occurred in September and December 2012. Identified as “Jane Doe,” she related the first assault to family members on Thanksgiving Day 2010, approximately a year after a stroke robbed her of her ability to speak or understand spoken or written words. The condition, called aphasia, factored heavily at trial.
As a beat cop, Baker patrolled the streets of South Sacramento for more than two decades. He was fired from the force and arrested in December 2012 following allegations of the sexual attacks.
“This case has to be about ‘Jane Doe.’ She was raped. It harms all of us,” Judge Sawtelle said. “You entered her safe haven, her home, the place where she should be the safest. Then, you went back again and again and again.”
While Baker did not take the stand at trial, his then-defense attorney Linda Parisi argued that Baker and the woman had a casual relationship that included sex. She argued that the woman’s aphasia required family members to try to interpret what she said and meant and that they were often at a loss to do so. The woman relied on single words, gestures and scrawled notes, sketches and photographs to communicate.
Forensics experts and medical professionals testified that physical examinations and crime kit analysis revealed evidence of bodily fluids and trauma.
Baker faced 10 counts in all, including allegations of rape, forcible oral copulation, assault with intent to commit rape and burglary. In July, jurors convicted Baker of all but one allegation of forcible oral copulation connected to a December 2012 incident.
Baker, who has been held at Sacramento County Main Jail since July, fired Parisi in August and replaced her with defense counsel Donald Masuda. On Tuesday, he maintained his innocence, saying he had been undone by investigative errors and ineffective counsel.
“I did not rape ‘Jane Doe,’ ” he maintained at the defense table.