A former Del Mar man convicted of raping two women, including one he met on the Christian dating website ChristianMingle.com., was sentenced today to 37 years to life in state prison.
Sean Patrick Banks, 39, was convicted in June of raping a La Mesa woman in her apartment after they met on ChristianMingle.com in November 2012 and raping another woman he met on Match.com in 2009.
“This particular defendant has no remorse for the victims,” Deputy
District Attorney David Williams III said. “He has no recognition that what he did was wrong.”
Before Judge Daniel Goldstein pronounced the sentence, Banks read a Bible verse in court and challenged the victims.
“I'm willing to consider whether to drop my appeal if (the Christian
Mingle victim) can pass a polygraph on the facts of the case,” Banks said.
The judge responded that the remark “shows a lack of remorse.” There were moments throughout the proceedings when Banks could have expressed remorse but didn't, the judge added.
Katie Kuhlman told the judge that Banks contacted her soon after she joined the dating website and they spent a month talking and texting.
“He said he was a Christian and just about everything we talked about had to do with God,” Kuhlman said.
Their conversations made her feel comfortable enough to invite him to her apartment on the night before Thanksgiving in 2012 to watch a movie, she said.
During the movie, he tried to kiss her “aggressively” and made a comment about how easy it is to snap someone's neck, she said. She told the judge that he then raped her in her bedroom, but eventually heeded her demands that he stop and left.
He later texted her saying he got lost to make it seem like he hadn't been there, according to Kuhlman.
Normally, the names of sexual assault victims are not revealed in news stories, but Kuhlman said she went public to encourage other women not be afraid to report such crimes.
“I didn't want other girls to go through this,” she said. “I realized that night that he might have done this to someone else.”
Defense lawyer Brian J. White told reporters the statements of his client's accusers were in conflict, and he planned to pursue the appeal. A videotaped statement of one of the women was recorded over at the La Mesa Police Department, he said.
The judge, however, said he believed that the women's statements, particularly Kuhlman's, were consistent throughout the case.
Kuhlman, who contended that one of Banks' relatives is harassing her family via Facebook, has retained Los Angeles-based women's rights attorney Gloria Allred to provide advice.
Allred told reporters that any decisions on whether to pursue civil litigation against Banks or Christian Mingle would be made at a later time.