Anthony Dias was sentenced Friday to a minimum of 36 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to multiple rapes and other crimes in three separate King County cases in 2005.

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Moments after hearing the serial rapist plead guilty to terrorizing her family and raping her two young daughters, a Des Moines mother gathered up her courage, blotted her tears and turned toward Anthony C. Dias.

“I have fought all my life to protect my children,” the Spanish-speaking woman said through an interpreter Friday morning in a Kent courtroom. “Unfortunately, I could not [protect them] from a man who came one night into my house and pointed to each of my children’s heads with a gun …

“During those four or five hours, he killed something in each of us,” she sobbed.

Dias, 29, was sentenced Friday to a minimum of 36 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to multiple rapes and other crimes in three separate King County cases.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys said they made the agreement for the plea to spare the victims from having to testify in a trial and because Dias is already serving what is essentially a life sentence.

Dias entered an Alford plea, in which he does not admit guilt but acknowledges a jury would likely convict him if he was tried.

Dias is serving a 227-year prison sentence for two rapes in Pierce County.

The King County charges stem from incidents in 2005.

Dias broke into a Federal Way-area apartment on Oct. 28, 2005, bound and beat three men and forced two women to perform sex acts.

Three days later, Dias broke into the home of the Des Moines woman and used duct tape to bind six people, including a 2-year-old girl and a 11-year-old boy, and repeatedly raped two sisters, ages 20 and 24.

Dias was shot by police and arrested early Nov. 8, 2005, outside a Federal Way apartment after he sneaked through a window, tied up a woman with a dog leash and duct tape and raped her two teenage daughters — then 13 and 15.

The Seattle Times is not naming the Des Moines woman or other relatives to protect the identity of the victims.

Dias could have qualified for a mental-insanity defense had the trial moved forward, his defense attorneys said. In evaluations after his arrest, doctors found symptoms of bipolar disorder, depression and possible brain damage from a head injury he suffered in a car accident.

And Dias, who has a sixth-grade education, has battled drug addiction and psychological trauma, according to records and his attorneys.

In January 2006, while in jail awaiting trial on charges of breaking into three homes in the Tacoma area in 2005 and raping two women, Dias tried to hang himself with cloth strips torn from the mattress.

In delivering his sentence, King County Superior Court Judge Brian Gain acknowledged both the terror Dias inflicted and the demons he was said to struggle with.

“A person who could do these things to other people … torment them … would have to be tormented themselves,” said Gain, who called Dias’ acts unconscionable.

On Friday, the mother of the adult sisters raped in the Des Moines home told the court that she still sleeps in the living room every night out of fear that someone will come into her home and harm her children. He son, who had to listen to the attacks on his sisters and is now 14, is aggressive and angry, she said. Her youngest daughter, 2 at the time, is terrified to be alone.

Her daughters, 20 and 24 when they were raped, are trying to piece their lives back together. Trembling as she spoke, the woman said she had tried, in her heart, to find forgiveness. She also made a request.

“I want to ask him, when he’s alone, to close his eyes and imagine a man hurting his child while his hands were tied up, as mine were,” she said. “Imagine the pain, the fury, the impotence.”

Natalie Singer: 206-464-2704 or nsinger@seattletimes.com