Virgil Rice created a “cult-like” atmosphere in his Loveland family, isolated girls from boys and manipulated the girls to believe his sexual abuse was therapy.
He did all that telling his family he was acting under the duty to follow God’s will, according to statements made Friday during Rice’s sentencing hearing.
Rice, 55, was sentenced to 60 years in prison Friday for years of sexual abuse against girls in his family after a jury in April convicted him of seven counts.
Judge Dave Williams sentenced Rice to 24 years each for crimes against two of the victims and 12 years for crimes against a third victim.
Prosecutor Emily Humphrey quoted one of the victims during Friday’s sentencing hearing as saying “I didn’t think it was wrong. I thought it was therapy.”
She indicated that another victim said Rice was the only consistent figure in her life and his care was all she ever knew.
After Rice was arrested and charged in 2004, he fled to Spain, but was eventually located by authorities and has been incarcerated since 2007. His court proceedings were long delayed because he filed numerous legal motions and tried to represent himself.
Rice is the former owner of Tech Cycle, a company that recycled computer parts. His three sons, who helped him run the business, have adamantly supported his claims of innocence and fled with him to Spain remaining in the country for a short time after his arrest while launching a website trying to prove Rice’s innocence.