The man who stabbed and raped a Willowbrook woman during a home invasion two years ago was sentenced Thursday after an emotional face to face confrontation with his accuser.
“Some days it's hard, other days it’s a lot easier,” victim Melissa Schuster.
Schuster says it's her faith that has given her strength after being beaten, stabbed and raped during a home invasion in her family's Willowbrook home two years ago. That same faith helped her through an emotional sentencing for the man who did it, 34-year-old Londale Madison.
Schuster sobbed as photos of her injuries were displayed, and testimony described her getting raped in her parent's shower. She testified, "I have fears that I never did before. I have pain every single day.”
“Just knowing that there are people that I have helped after this, that's very encouraging. very empowering. And it keeps me going,” Schuster said.
Defense lawyers pointed to Madison's mental health issues, showing his video confession shortly after the crime where he told police, "something took control of me.” At another moment, however, Madison tells police, "I deserve the grave."
Once Prosecutors and the defense had rested, Madison had the opportunity to plead his case and he broke down and sobbed as he apologized to Schuster.
"I myself hate me for what I did to Melissa," Madison told Judge George bakalis. "I'm not the person who did this."
“A lot of lives are going to be saved by keeping him in prison. As far as apologies, I didn't buy it at all,” said dad Paul Schuster.
Madison's plea deal called for anywhere from 28 to 100 years. Defense lawyers asked for the minimum.
“Just like you, just like me, just like anybody, he is a human being and deserves to be judged in the context of his life,” said defense attorney Wayne Brucar.
The judge handed down a sentence of 68 years.
“The victim in this case is a hero. That's the best description I can give. She truly is a hero,” said state’s attorney Bob Berlin.
Madison must serve 85 percent of his sentence, or about 57 years.