Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Case # 08HF1870
July 13, 2012
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
FORMER LA SHERIFF’S DEPUTY SENTENCED TO 19 YEARS AND EIGHT MONTHS PLUS FOUR LIFE TERMS IN PRISON FOR VIOLENTLY TORTURING AND SEXUALLY ASSAULTING WIFE AND MALE VICTIM
SANTA ANA – A former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to 19 years and eight months plus four consecutive life terms in state prison today for violently torturing and forcibly sexually assaulting his wife and another man. Robert Avery McClain, 38, Irvine, was found guilty by a jury May 10, 2012, of one felony count each of aggravated mayhem, torture, forcible oral copulation, attempted sexual penetration by foreign object by force, spousal rape by force, sodomy by future threat, false imprisonment, and domestic battery with corporal injury. The jury found true the sentencing enhancements and allegations for the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a sexual assault, personally inflicting great bodily injury to more than one victim, personal use of a deadly weapon, personal use of a firearm, use of a firearm during a sexual offense, causing great bodily injury to a sexual assault victim, and causing great bodily injury in the course of domestic violence. McClain was found guilty by the same jury May 18, 2012, to have been legally sane when he committed the violent torture and sexual assault.
As McClain entered pleas of “not guilty” and “not guilty by reason of insanity,” the trial was held in two phases. The first phase was the guilt phase, during which jurors heard evidence about the crime and the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty of the crime. In the second phase, the sanity phase, in which the same jury considered evidence to determine if the defendant was legally sane at the time of the crime, McClain was found to be sane. When a defendant pleads “not guilty by reason of insanity,” the burden is on the defense to prove that the defendant was more likely than not legally insane when he committed the crime. To be considered legally insane, the defense must prove that the defendant had a mental disease or defect when he committed the crime and that this defect kept the defendant from understanding the nature of his act or from understanding that his act was morally or legally wrong.
At the time of the crime, McClain was a 10-month deputy on probation with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The defendant was married to 31-year-old Jane Doe and the couple had four children. McClain became angry because he was suspicious that his wife was having an affair with 23-year-old John Doe, a resident of the Irvine apartment complex where Jane Doe worked in the leasing office.
On Sept. 28, 2008, McClain asked his wife to take him to meet John Doe under the pretense of being introduced to the man who might ultimately spend time around the couple’s children. The defendant showed up with Jane Doe at John Doe’s apartment at approximately 9:00 p.m. and led the victims to the back kitchenette area of the leasing office.
The defendant argued with Jane Doe and John Doe and then violently tortured both victims. He was convicted of the following physical and sexual attack, which lasted for over two hours:
· Repeatedly punching and kicking both victims. He beat John Doe so severely that the victim was rendered temporarily unconscious and suffered extreme blood loss;
· Forcing both victims at knife-point to undress and then removing his own clothing. The defendant held the victims at gun-point at various times throughout the attack;
· Ordering Jane Doe to orally copulate John Doe while John Doe was bleeding and incapacitated;
· Ordering Jane Doe to have sex with John Doe. The victims were unable to have sex due to their fear and physical injuries;
· Unsuccessfully attempting to rape Jane Doe;
· Giving Jane Doe the knife and ordering her to castrate John Doe. Jane Doe fearfully pretended to follow the defendant’s instructions and twice put the knife to John Doe’s penis but did not actually attempt to cut him;
· Using the knife to repeatedly slice John Doe’s face;
· Urinating on both victims;
· Strangling John Doe;
· Gagging both victims including forcing bloody clothes into John Doe’s mouth;
· Penetrating John Doe’s anus with the knife as the victim screamed in pain;
· Forcing Jane Doe to insert the knife into her vagina;
· Kicking Jane Doe in the side as she used her body to attempt to protect John Doe;
· Putting the firearm in John Doe’s mouth and threatening to shoot him;
· Ordering Jane Doe to tie up John Doe using a strap found in the office. Jane Doe was unable to tie a knot in the strap due to the excessive amount of blood.
After brutalizing the victims, McClain left John Doe in a massive pool of blood and forced Jane Doe to leave with him against her will. The defendant drove Jane Doe to a secluded road and forcibly raped and sodomized the victim in his car. He used the knife to cut off the victim’s hair and unsuccessfully ordered her to cut her own face with the knife so that other men would not find her attractive. McClain then drove Jane Doe back to their Irvine home and beat her several more times.
Throughout the physical and sexual attack, McClain threatened to kill Jane Doe as she begged him to spare her life so that their children wouldn’t grow up without a mother.
When McClain fell asleep, Jane Doe attempted to run for the door and escape. The defendant woke up, chased the victim, and tackled her. He broke her clavicle and rendered her unconscious. When Jane Doe awoke, she observed McClain loading several firearms and pleaded to be allowed to go to the hospital and take her children. Jane Doe was finally able to escape and drove to a nearby hospital. Hospital staff called the police.
During this same time, at approximately 7:00 a.m. on Sept. 29, 2008, a cleaning crew discovered John Doe in the leasing office and called 911. John Doe was transported to the hospital.
The Irvine Police Department (IPD) went to McClain’s apartment and arrested the defendant without incident that morning.
Both victims survived the attack but sustained serious injuries. John Doe suffered brain damage, multiple bone fractures in his face, excessive blood loss, five stab wounds to his scrotum, two stab wounds to his penis, several cuts to his groin area, and lacerations to his face and arm. John Doe’s mouth had to be wired shut and he spent months re-learning to walk and talk.
Jane Doe suffered a concussion, broken clavicle, abrasions to her face, arms, and legs, injuries to her waist and back, and tearing of her anus.
This case was investigated by IPD and was prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney John Christl of the Special Prosecutions Unit.