A man convicted of a kidnapping and rape when he was 15 years old was re-sentenced Tuesday afternoon.
Brandon Moore was sentenced to 50 years in prison. He will get credit for the time he’s already served in the case, making him 62 years old before he’s eligible for parole.
Having already watched Moore be sentenced twice over the last 16 years, it’s not so much about personal satisfaction for Melissa Klobchar.
“It’s a sentence that I have to live with, but I know that he can’t hurt anybody else and I think that’s always my motivation,” she said.
In 2001, when Klobchar was a 21-year-old YSU student, she and several others were kidnapped and robbed, then she was repeatedly raped.
A year later, Moore and three others were convicted. At that time, Judge Scott Krichbaum told the defendants they’d never be rehabilitated, saying it “would be a waste of time and money and common sense to even give it a try.”
Moore was sentenced to 141 years in prison, but the defendant was just 15 at the time. Eventually, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the sentence amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
In court on Tuesday for Moore’s second re-sentencing, the victim — who didn’t mind being shown — told the judge she now serves a life term of her own.
“As Brandon Moore started his sentence behind bars, I, Melissa, started my very own sentence as well. My mind became my prison. I couldn’t escape it no matter what successes I endured during my career.”
She said her prison ultimately brought her down.
Now, Klobchar is married and lives in another state, but said she’s suffered through an eating disorder and post-traumatic stress because of what happened to her.
“Brandon Moore was the one that abducted me. He could have left me and I wouldn’t have had to go through what I had to go through that night,” she said.
When it was his turn to speak, Moore apologized to her, saying at the time of the crimes, he had been “lost” and has since grown and matured in prison.
Despite his apology and an exhaustive defense by his lawyer, Judge Maureen Sweeney gave the defendant a 50-year sentence, making the now 32-year-old eligible for parole when he’s 62.
“We’re protected for at least another 30 years,” Klobchar said.
While she believes Moore is sorry for what he’s done, she said he still has to be held accountable.
“He ultimately made the decisions, what happened to me that night.”
She said she wants to be sure he can’t ever hurt anyone else.