A Beatrice man was sentenced to at least 16 years in prison on Wednesday after prosecutors described years of manipulation and control over a female victim.
Russell L. Mann, 56, was sentenced to serve 15-20 years for attempted manufacturing of sexually explicit conduct. He was also sentenced to one consecutive year for attempted possession of a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct and one year concurrent for unlawful intrusion, totaling a 16- to 21-year sentence.
Mann was sentenced on reduced charges as part of a plea agreement where defense and prosecutors recommended an eight-year sentence. As part of the plea agreement, three charges of sexual assault were dismissed.
Judge Vicky Johnson said the recommendation was too lenient given the nature of the crime.
She said the victim in the case was assaulted hundreds of times and her reports were either not believed or she was forced to recant statements to law enforcement out of fear.
It wasn’t until years later when a video showing Mann and the victim, who was 17 at the time, having sex that he was prosecuted in the case.
Johnson said Mann, who was previously convicted of attempted terroristic threats toward the victim and sentenced to probation, also has multiple protection-order violations toward the victim.
“Historically, the defendant violated protection orders put in place to keep him away and he violated probation terms when he was called to account for his behavior by the courts,” Johnson said. “His probation was revoked due to his failure to learn from his error. His thinking process has remained distorted and he struggles to comply with societal norms of acceptable behavior, and more importantly court orders.”
Defense attorney Dustin Garrison argued that the video depicted consensual sex, a factor that should have been taken into account.
“This entire case, and I think the court will agree, is distasteful,” he said. “There is a sexual relationship between a girl who was 17 years of age and Mr. Mann…(The victim) initiated this entire sexual encounter.”
Gage County Chief Deputy Attorney Amanda Spracklen-Hogan said Mann maintained control over the victim dating back to her childhood and continuing into adulthood.
“Over the years he developed a relationship that was based on manipulation and control,” she said. “The victim didn’t go anywhere or do anything without Russ Mann’s approval and that usually included doing favors for him just to get out of the house.”
She added that Mann punched the victim in the face on her 18th birthday in 2015 and continued to terrorize her.
Mann was arrested last April after the video of him having sex with the victim was discovered.
He was given credit for 600 days of time served during the pendency of the case.