The Bay County man found guilty of raping a juvenile has been sentenced for his crimes. Andrew Pace will spend his life in prison.
In May of 2016. Pace was arrested after neighbors saw a naked boy running from his Panama City Beach home.
The teenage boy took the stand in the trial and told the court of the day his life changed forever. Evidence presented showed that on May 20, 2016, Pace invited the victim, a 16-year-old boy, to lunch before providing him with alcohol that left the victim incapacitated to resist Pace’s advances.
The teen regained consciousness later that evening to find Pace had tied him to his bed and was raping him. The teen was able to break free from the restraints and fled Pace’s home into the arms of neighbors who called 9-1-1.
“Testimony clearly established that you pursued this young man in gaining his trust, only to violate him,” said 14th Circuit Court Judge, Allen Register.
A jury found Pace guilty of sexual battery, false imprisonment, and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Although he was found guilty, Pace still stands by his innocence.
“I’m innocent. My father, God in heaven knows I am innocent,” said Pace.
Absent at the sentence hearing was the victim and his family, along with Pace’s own brother all of which who were present every single day of the trial.
Even though he claims he did not commit the crimes, Judge Allen Register disagreed with Pace’s statement of innocence and gave him the maximum sentence.
“The court judges you to be guilty and sentences you to serve the term of life imprisonment in the state department of corrections,” said Register.
Pace has also reached status as a sexual predator, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever have to register seeing as he’ll be spending the rest of his life behind bars.
Andrew Pace has 30 days from the day of sentencing to appeal the given life sentence. As of sentencing, he has not made any requests as to what facility he would like to serve his time in.