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Moe Gibbs rape victim confronts her attacker in court

The woman Moe Gibbs raped three years ago looked at him Thursday and said she hopes he remembers the sound of her screaming for help as he sits in prison for the rest of his life.

The woman Moe Gibbs raped three years ago looked at him Thursday and said she hopes he remembers the sound of her screaming for help as he sits in prison for the rest of his life.

Her voice shaking at times, the 25-year-old described the horror of waking up facedown on a bed in June 2004 to find Gibbs on top of her, arm around her neck, raping her.

"The pain was unbearable; I tried to scream but couldn't because his arm was in my mouth," she said through tears during Gibbs' sentencing hearing for sexual assault cases in Barnes and Cass counties. "I bit, I kicked, I elbowed, and I struggled. He was twice my size, but I fought anyway."

The victim said Gibbs brought her to the apartment lobby and told her he had a taxi for her, but when she did not see one, she panicked.

"At that moment I realized he was taking me somewhere else and if I didn't escape I was going to die," she said, adding that she broke free and fled, her clothes partly torn off, while barefoot and sobbing.

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Typically, The Forum does not identify victims of sex crimes.

Gibbs, who was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole Monday for last year's murder of Mindy Morgenstern, did not appear to react or look at the victim as she spoke.

Prosecutors argued Monday that the woman's violent experience and Gibbs' six felony convictions for sexually assaulting five female inmates while working at the Barnes County Jail warranted receiving a prison sentence consecutive to the murder sentence.

Gibbs' defense attorney, Ross Brandborg, disagreed and argued that Gibbs took responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty and that a consecutive sentence would be like trying to punish Gibbs after he dies in prison.

"That's for powers beyond ours," Brandborg said.

East Central Judicial District Judge Wade agreed with prosecutors and rebuked Gibbs for destroying several lives.

"You have earned the consecutive sentences," Webb told the 35-year-old. Webb ordered Gibbs to serve 12 years in prison for the rape, concurrent with 15 years for the inmate sexual assaults.

The sentences are consecutive to the murder charge, meaning Gibbs will not begin serving those sentences unless the murder sentence changes, Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Byers said after the hearing.

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"These are more of a safety net than anything," Byers said.

Thursday's sentencing comes 15 months after Gibbs' arrest for Morgenstern's slaying and brings to a close all criminal charges brought against Gibbs following the 22-year-old's death.

Gibbs, who has a month to appeal the murder conviction, did not address the court Thursday. He did not return a message left at the Cass County Jail seeking comment.

Moe Gibbs timeline

- Nov. 16 - A Burleigh County jury convicts Moe Gibbs in his second murder trial of murdering Mindy Morgenstern on Sept. 13, 2006.

- Nov. 26 - Gibbs pleads guilty to a 2004 Fargo rape.

- Dec. 14 - Gibbs pleads guilty to six felony charges for sexually assaulting five female inmates while working at the Barnes County Jail from May to September 2006.

- Dec. 17 - Gibbs is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for Morgenstern's murder.

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- Dec. 20 - Gibbs is sentenced to serve up to 15 years in multiple sexual assault charges. The sentences are consecutive to the murder sentence.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541 Moe Gibbs rape victim confronts her attacker in court Brittany Lawonn 20071221

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