TAMPA (FOX 13) - Convicted sexual predator James Beaver claims he, too, was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a relative, but never talked about it or got help for it.
"It’s not something you reveal every day," said Beaver.
Instead, he said he buried his pain the only way he knew. “I am now disclosing this: I was treated for the alcohol and drugs and the symptoms of it and that was it.”
The former special education teacher was convicted of raping a mentally disabled man. The victim, who has the mental capacity of a first grader, told the jury last August he was lured to Beaver’s apartment after being locked out of his home.
The victim was told to take a bath. Afterward, he said, Beaver fed him soup and had him smoke meth.
“I ate the soup and then smoked the brown sugar stuff,” testified the victim.
The young man said Beaver then sexually assaulted him. It took that jury only 20 minutes to convict Beaver.
Now his pastor and friend, Joe Johnson, asked for mercy.
"I'm looking for a fair system for this man here, who is now my friend. And I believe, treated properly, would be asset to society as a whole," said Johnson.
However, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Samantha Ward pointed out that Beaver had several chances to get treatment but never did. With that, she sentenced him to 15 years in prison.