MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A convicted rapist who went on the run for years after he was released on bond was sentenced to 37 years in prison without parole.
Kelvin Montgomery was accused of drugging a woman, tying her up, beating and raping her at an East Memphis home in 2014. The alleged victim said she played dead and was able to escape when her attacker fell asleep.
Montgomery was convicted in a jury trial earlier this year.
Tuesday, Criminal Court Judge Paula Skahan sentenced him to consecutive terms of 25 years for especially aggravated kidnapping and 12 years for aggravated sexual battery, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said in a release.
The D.A.’s office released the following timeline of Montgomery’s lengthy case and capture:
“Montgomery, 55, a self-employed appliance repairman, met the 35-year-old victim the evening of June 15, 2014, at an East Memphis restaurant where she worked. She said she agreed to have a drink with him, but that when they got to his house on Willow Road he became violent.
“The woman said Montgomery handcuffed, gagged and choked her before forcing her to have sex. She said she pretended to be unconscious and that when he fell asleep, she managed to escape and run, still handcuffed, gagged and naked, to a neighbor’s for help.
“Montgomery was arrested five days later and was freed on $100,000 bond the next day. In July of 2016, he pled guilty in court to a series of criminal charges and received a 12-year sentence. He was allowed to temporarily remain free on bond, but then failed to return to court as scheduled.
“Instead of surrendering, Montgomery fled and lived on a sailboat in an Orange Beach, Ala., marina under an assumed name until federal marshals captured him in June of 2017.
“An Arkansas woman who was with him had been reported missing by her family. She said Montgomery made her use a false name, was abusive to her, and would not let her leave, but she declined to press charges because she feared retaliation by him.
“She said Montgomery once threw her overboard while they were sailing in the Gulf of Mexico more than a mile from shore. She said he left her fighting the waves for a period, before eventually helping her back onto the boat.”
That woman and the Memphis victim both gave victim-impact statements at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.
“He is an evil, dangerous man,” the victim told WREG when the case was profiled years ago.
Montgomery pled guilty in 2018 in an Alabama federal court to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, then was returned to the Shelby County Jail.
He had been jailed on $1.1 million bond.