Serial rapist of disabled women gets up to 60 years in prison

Posted: January 29, 2014

IN THE SUMMER of 2012, William Walker, who had been arrested 23 times and diagnosed with bipolar disorder and a low IQ, turned his pain and dysfunction on disabled women.

That's when Walker, now 43, raped four mentally disabled women on different occasions near their assisted-living facilities on or near Hunting Park Avenue in North Philadelphia.

The attacks took place between July 14 and 26. Walker was arrested the day of the final assault.

For those crimes, Walker was sentenced yesterday to 24 to 60 years in state prison by Common Pleas Judge Donna Woelpper.

For preying on such vulnerable victims - and given his criminal record that began as a juvenile and included more than a dozen convictions - Walker should be sentenced to 57 to 114 years, Assistant District Attorney Ashley Lynam had argued.

"The defendant's record clearly shows a lifetime of criminal involvement," said Lynam, who added that Walker has been deemed by the court to be a sexually violent predator under Megan's Law.

Defense attorney Catherine Berryman said he should have been sentenced to 15 to 30 years because he had taken responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty.

She noted that Walker was also mentally disabled with a low IQ score of 81, has suffered from drug addiction, dropped out of school in seventh grade and was abused by his father and abandoned by his mother.

Two of his victims - who appeared somewhat disoriented - came to court and gave victim-impact statements before sentencing. "I'm having difficulty sleeping and I'm suffering from depression," one woman said.

"This guy was helping me out . . . and he raped me," the other woman said.

For his part, Walker told the court that being locked up for the past year and a half had helped him clear his mind and get in "touch with my higher power."

He apologized for attacking his victims and said he wouldn't want anyone to do the same thing to his 20-year-old daughter or his four sisters.

One sister, Sharonda Williams, fought back tears as she testified about how Walker helped raise her and their siblings and how he looked after their grandmother, who lives in a nursing home.

"The monster that is being portrayed today, I would have never known," she said.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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