Life sentence in Columbia rape, torture

July 24, 2008 2:41:48 PM PDT
An ex-convict has been sentenced to life in prison for the sadistic, 19-hour rape and torture of a Columbia University graduate student.Robert Williams was convicted last month in Manhattan of attempted murder, rape, kidnapping and arson.

The victim managed to testify about her agonizing ordeal. Her tormenter scalded her with boiling water and tried to blind her with bleach. She was forced to swallow fistfuls of painkillers and ordered to gouge out her eyes with scissors. The attacker glued her lips shut and gagged her with duct tape before torching her apartment.

The defense had tried unsuccessfully to have Williams declared mentally unfit to stand trial.