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Repeat Sex Offender Gets 60 Years For 1996 Rape

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Kurt Serzen (Credit: DuPage County Sheriff)

Kurt Serzen (Credit: DuPage County Sheriff)

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WHEATON, Ill. (STMW) – Ripping repeat sex offender Kurt Serzen as “every woman’s nightmare,” DuPage County Judge Robert Kleeman sentenced the Hanover Park man to 60 years in prison for a 1996 rape that went unsolved for years.

Serzen was charged in 2003 when saliva recovered from that rape was matched to a DNA sample he gave after being convicted of a similar sexual attack.

“Mr. Serzen is every woman’s nightmare,” Kleeman said Tuesday, before slamming him with the maximum prison term. “He’s society’s nightmare and society has a right to be protected from Kurt Serzen.”

Serzen, 55, lowered his face into his hands as he was ordered to prison for raping a 23-year-old Bensenville woman after breaking into her home as she slept.

Speaking outside the Wheaton courtroom, the woman said the hefty prison term made her glad she had testified against Serzen at his trial and again recounted the attack during his sentencing hearing.

“I’m not a vindictive person,” she said. “I did it so he couldn’t hurt anyone else.”

Serzen insisted during his 2011 trial that he didn’t attack the woman. But he contended that his saliva could have been left on her body because he said in 1996 he had worked at the club where she had been an exotic dancer

Other club workers disputed he had ever worked there.

He wasn’t charged in that attack until after he was convicted of a 1999 assault in which he broke into a Woodridge home and molested a 16-year-old girl. A DNA sample he submitted after that conviction tied him to the Bensenville attack, prosecutors said.

In the 1990s, he was charged with committing three rapes in Florida but was acquitted of those assaults.

Before being sentenced Tuesday, Serzen offered a vague apology, but he stopped short of admitting he attacked the Bensenville woman.

“I am remorseful for what has happened to this person,” Serzen told Kleeman. “I have been found by this court to be responsible, and I accept that.”

Despite the sentence, Serzen will spend less than 25 years behind bars — partly because he is required to serve only half his term and because he already has been jailed for more than five years since his arrest.

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said Serzen deserved the maximum sentence.

“People have the right to feel safe in their own homes and today’s sentence sends the message that when that right is violated there will be severe, significant consequences,” Berlin said Tuesday in a statement.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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