your connection to The Boston Globe

S.C. man gets 421 years in rape, kidnap of girl

Vinson Filyaw pleaded guilty moments before his trial. Vinson Filyaw pleaded guilty moments before his trial.

BEAUFORT, S.C. - A man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and raping her for more than a week in an underground bunker was sentenced yesterday to the maximum 421 years in prison.

"I have a strong belief you have forfeited your right to be a member of this society," Judge G. Thomas Cooper said before handing down the sentence. "I can think of no crimes short of murder more repulsive than these."

Vinson Filyaw pleaded guilty Tuesday, moments before his trial, to charges of kidnapping and 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct, one for each day prosecutors said he held the girl captive a year ago in Kershaw County.

The teen was rescued after she got hold of Filyaw's cell phone and sent a text message for help.

The girl, now 15, had planned to testify at his sentencing, but officials said she was too emotional to speak. Her mother hugged her as the girl's statement was read in court.

"What he did was every person's worst nightmare . . . a nightmare no one should have to endure or survive," prosecutor Luck Campbell read from the statement.

Filyaw said he posed as a police officer when he kidnapped the girl as she walked home from her bus stop. She was chained to a pipe in the tiny bunker and raped daily, authorities said.

While she was held, the girl gained Filyaw's trust, and he said he gave her his cell phone to play games. She used the phone to send a text message to her mother that led rescuers to the bunker.

Filyaw apologized to the girl and her family during brief remarks to the judge.

"There are no words or statement I could possibly give to undo the pain I have caused her and her family," he said.

More from