Rapist sentenced to 80 years in Miller County


A man who raped his former teacher in 2015 received an 80-year prison sentence Thursday.

Vasquez Dominique Hayes, 22, must serve 56 years before he can be considered for parole. Hayes was found guilty Thursday afternoon by a jury of seven felonies which include: two counts of rape, aggravated robbery, aggravated residential burglary, kidnapping and two counts of theft of property.

The jury sentenced Hayes to 40 years on the burglarly and robbery charges, 20 years for kidnapping, 10 years for stealing the victim’s car and six years for stealing the woman’s debit and credit cards. The jury was unable to reach a sentencing decision on the rape charges for which Hayes faced 10 to 40 years or life. Circuit Judge Carlton Jones sentenced Hayes to 40 years on each count of rape but ordered the terms to run concurrent to all the other charges except the aggravated residential burglary charge which he ordered to run consecutively to the rape charges. Hayes will be in his seventies before he can be considered for parole.

“Thank you. Thank you for believing me,” the victim said to the jury as she gave a statement during the sentencing phase of Hayes’ trial.

The woman became acquainted with Hayes when he was a 12-year-old and she worked as a teacher at a local church. A childhood friend of Hayes’ testified that Hayes had a crush on the victim as a child that continued into adulthood. On Nov. 22, 2015, Hayes put on a hoodie and pulled the drawstring tightly. He wore sunglasses and covered the bottom half of his face. Hayes entered the woman’s backyard and listened as she showered and talked to her dog. When she opened the door to let him out at approximately 1 a.m., Hayes was there pointing a gun in her face.

Hayes sexually assaulted the woman repeatedly before forcing her to ride in her 2010 Nissan Altima with him to an ATM where she withdrew $500. The woman’s ordeal didn’t end when he dropped her in a residential neighborhood at 3 a.m.

“In one night, my life changed forever. I will never be the same person I was before Vasquez Hayes violated and terrorized me,” the woman said. “All it took was a few hours with him to sever my life into two halves: before and after.”

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