On Tuesday, a 41-year sentence was handed down in court to a serial rapist who posed as an uber driver. His victims bravely faced him in court.
According to Cleveland.com, Christian Burks of Ohio pleaded guilty to the rape of 5 Cleaveland women between October 2017 and May 2020. His plea includes the two women he assaulted after posing as an Uber driver.
In court, some of the women took turns addressing him.
“I hope you are haunted by my limp body lying in the backseat of your car. I hope you never live another day without the soul-crushing weight of me on your mind,” one of the victims told him, the outlet reported. “I am not weak. I am not defenseless. I am not an object for you to use at your disposal. I will not be haunted by the thought of you.”
During the sentencing, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Joan Synenberg called Burks “cunning” and “ruthless” saying the man targeted women who were taking an Uber to get safely home.
“There is not one thing that the victims did where they bear responsibility for what happened to them,” Synenberg said Tuesday, Cleveland.com reported. “I hope they can free themselves of any space you occupy in their heads.”
Unable to look her attacker in the face, one of the victims who believed she was getting in an Uber spoke in court.
“I know there are many more men, and many more people, who have bad intentions that I cannot save them from,” she said, Cleveland.com reported. “But I can stand up here and tell you today that the world is a less safe and more dangerous place for all of these young women when this man is allowed freedom.”
The third victim tearfully gave her testimony in court, saying the attack haunts her every day: “I never would have thought my life would have gotten here. I was tricked into believing someone was what they weren’t,” she said.
Burks, who has four children, also pleaded guilty to four counts of kidnapping, two counts of abduction, one count of theft, and one count of domestic violence.