Seven life sentences for man convicted in serial rape cases

- A man, convicted in the 2015 aggravated sexual assault of a woman walking along northeast Houston, has been sentenced to several life terms in prison, according to the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say Marquis Tate, 35, is "a serial rapist who terrorized numerous Harris County women over several years."  

Tate was sentenced on Wednesday to the seven life terms for seven sexual assaults, according to prosecutors. They say Tate walked up behind the woman on Lyons Avenue in 2015, used a knife to threaten her and forced her into his car. He then drove her to a secluded area, where he sexually assaulted her. Tate's DNA connected him to the assault.

Following a three-day trial, an all-male jury found Tate guilty in approximately 45 minutes.  

"How quickly this jury came back with this verdict is proof that they had no doubt that Marquis Tate committed this crime," said Assistant District Attorney Traci Bennett. "It was amazing to get justice for the women in these cases. They took the opportunity to face him before he was sentenced and I can only hope this outcome has brought them some sort of peace." 

On Wednesday, prior to the start of the sentencing phase of the trial, Tate agreed to accept a sentence of life in prison and a $10,000 fine. In addition, Tate will not have to face future trials, by pleading guilty to six other aggravated sexual assault cases and received seven life sentences- the strongest punishment possible for these crimes.

"Let this be a message to women across Harris County that law enforcement is working hard to ensure our streets are safe, and this district attorney's office is making sure these criminals are put away for the crimes they commit," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.  

More than 20 sexual assault cases have been attributed to Tate over the past decade. A dozen of his victims were ready to testify against him.

Assistant District Attorney Kristina Roberts prosecuted the case with ADA Bennett.

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