"Biggest gangster" wannabe faced as much as life in prison for eight felonies, including kidnapping, robbery, promoting the commercial sexual abuse of a minor, and two counts of first-degree rape.
He once bragged that he wanted to be known as “the biggest gangster in Seattle,” but D’Marco Mobley now has the distinction of being sentenced to what is believed to be the longest prison term in state history for prostitution-related crimes.
King County Superior Court Judge Monica Benton on Friday sentenced the 21-year-old Mobley to 37 years behind bars — the low end of the standard range — following his March conviction on eight felonies, including kidnapping, robbery, promoting the commercial sexual abuse of a minor, and two counts of first-degree rape.
In delivering its verdict, the jury found Mobley used beatings and sexual violence to keep in line a teenager and two young women he pimped out, including locking one of the women in the trunk of a car for 28 hours, raping her and helping another man rape her after she attempted to sever ties with Mobley.
Unremorseful to the end, Mobley, through his defense attorney Phil Mahoney, made three last-ditch motions to have the charges against him dismissed before Benton handed down her sentence. Mahoney asked the judge to impose an exceptional sentence of 26 years, due to Mobley’s youth and the “overly harsh” punishment he faced — a standard sentence of 37 to 47 years, with a maximum term of life in prison.
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Pointing out that Mobley was 19 when he committed his crimes, Mahoney said Mobley had spent much of his teens involved in the juvenile-justice system, “and a major part of this was in confinement.” While the juvenile system is focused on rehabilitation, “they certainly did not do a very good job in Mr. Mobley’s case,” he said.
Among his juvenile convictions was one for second-degree assault, Mobley having pleaded guilty when he was 17 to beating and strangling a girl who refused to prostitute for him, court records show.
Valiant Richey, the senior King County deputy prosecutor who tried the case, said he was especially concerned about Mobley’s skill at psychological manipulation and his level of violence — he ripped the scalp from one woman’s head, viciously beat the woman who is now his wife in a videotaped incident the jury never saw, and threatened to shoot the woman he locked in the car trunk.
Richey said he was “exercising some degree of mercy” in asking the judge to sentence Mobley to a little more than 38 ½ years in prison, “given what he could be facing.”
While none of Mobley’s victims addressed the court during sentencing, the young woman who had been locked in the trunk before his June arrest wrote a letter to the judge, which was read aloud by a victim advocate from the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center.
“I live in fear that I’m a target for another crime,” wrote the woman, who was in fact beaten by one of Mobley’s friends in February in an attempt to keep her from testifying at his trial. The friend, 22-year-old Kyle Rials, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to intimidating a witness and third-degree assault.
The woman wrote that she had survived a “very traumatic event” and has taken measures to protect her safety. While “being in a trunk for 28 hours” was life-changing, she said she forgave Mobley and asked that he receive psychiatric help.
“D’Marco Mobley was only playing the role of someone he idolized — a pimp,” she wrote.
Mobley’s mother, Dorcas Benson, said for years she tried to get her son services for his mental-health issues and other problems. She asked the court for leniency, noting her son was facing a sentence longer than he has “been on this Earth.”
When Benton asked Mobley if he wanted to say anything, Mobley responded: “I really don’t know what to say. I don’t think anything I say will make a difference in your mind.”
After the judge delivered her sentence, Mobley — displaying the same petulance he often showed during his trial — refused to provide his fingerprints, required of all felons following sentencing.
“I certainly don’t want this to turn into a circus with the SWAT team coming in” to force him to comply, Benton said. “This is difficult and demoralizing for you and your mother, but fingerprints — this is not where you should take your stand, Mr. Mobley. Provide your fingerprints, please.”
“Please, D’Marco,” his mother pleaded from the gallery.
Mobley pounded his fist and tapped his fingers on the defense table. But he relented, pressing his fingertips to an ink pad and stamping his prints on a piece of paper.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org