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KIMT News 3 - It’s a verdict some were hoping for and are excited to finally hear as Warren Purvis is sentenced to life in prison.
On Friday 59 year-old Warren Purvis of Mason City was sentenced to life in prison following his conviction of first degree sexual assault.
The incident happened back in 2012 when Purvis attacked and sexually assaulted his then girlfriend at her home in Mason City.
“When that verdict came in, we knew that the justice system worked in this case. We knew that the professionals came together from that first sexual assault nurse to advocates, prosecution and law enforcement working together to hold a rapist accountable,” said Mary Ingham, Executive Director with the Crisis Intervention Service.
While there was a brief celebration, advocates against sexual assault say there’s still work to be done.
“We still have a lot of work to do. We know that the majority of sexual assaults are never reported to law enforcement, a majority of sexual assaults are never prosecuted and most rapists are convicted. So we know there’s still a lot of work to do but we also know that we’re making progress,” said Ingham.
For prosecutors they say it was as difficult case, but they kept one goal in mind.
“Our main goal was to get him behind bars for as long as possible,” said Rachel Ginbey, Assistant Cerro Gordo County Attorney.
“We know that one, a convicted rapist is off the streets and Iowa is a better place because of it,” said Ingham.
In the case of first degree sexual assault, the penalty is life in prison and for Warren Purvis, that includes no possibility for parole.
The hope is that with these consequences being public, more will look to make their voices heard as well.
“I think this helps get that message out. That there is a group of caring committed professionals willing to hold people accountable and help keep people safer. My hope is that more victims are willing to come forward and keep themselves safe,” said Ingham.