Judge sentences Memphis serial rapist to 371 years in prison

William Gossett was sentenced to 371 years in prison. / (Shelby County Jail)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WVLT/WMC) -- A Southaven man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after a judge called him "a poster child for serial rapists."

William Gossett was sentenced to 371 years in prison Monday by Judge Lee Coffee who said Gossett "never deserves to walk the streets as a free man again," according to Gray-affiliate WMC.

In September, Gossett pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated rape and 21 felonies related to a number of break-ins across Memphis. Gossett has been in custody since being arrested in 2016.

Gossett was arrested for the first time in 1998 when he was found guilty of raping two children ages 5 and 8, according to the Shelby County District General's Office.

The prosecutor's office said the cases that put Gossett away for life include 15 victims from incidents that occurred between July 2012 and April 2016. Officials said most of the incidents happened at apartments across Memphis where Gossett often entered through a sliding glass door or windows and was usually armed with a gun or knife.

The DA's office said investigators found many items that belonged to
Gossett's victims at his home and in pawn shops.

Gossett refused to attend his sentencing hearing Monday, according to court records.

WMC reported during the hearing, one of Gossett's victims read a statement and said she was 16 at the time of her rape. She said she had nightmares, quit school for a month, quit school for a month and is "scarred for life."

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