Paul McKenzie
Paul McKenzie

A York man convicted late Thursday afternoon of rape and related offenses is facing two decades in prison, according to the prosecutor in the case.

After nearly five hours of deliberations, jurors found Paul McKenzie, 35, guilty of rape, aggravated assault, aggravated indecent assault and unlawful restraint. The jury acquitted him of attempted homicide.

He beat, raped and repeatedly choked and strangled his ex-girlfriend in her York City home on Nov. 5, 2011.

After the verdict was delivered, McKenzie repeatedly turned around and stared at his victim, his face devoid of expression.

She, however, appeared to cry.

While testifying earlier this week, the victim told jurors she and McKenzie had been broken up for about a week when they met up to discuss their relationship and ended up at her home.

He demanded to know if she'd been sleeping with anyone and she repeatedly told him she wasn't, but he began punching her, she said during her testimony.

Death threat: "The whole time he was just yelling at me, telling me I was going to die. That he was going to kill me."

She said he punched her more than 20 times in the head, then choked her with his hands. He then took off his T-shirt and started strangling her with that, she said.

Eventually, he removed a lace from his shoe and strangled her with that as well, the victim testified, adding she still has a scar on her neck from the lace.

"It hurt so bad. It cut off my breathing so quickly," she said. "I felt like my whole head was going to come off. ... I felt like I wasn't going to make it."

The victim estimated that, in total, she lost consciousness six times while being strangled.

At that point she began telling her attacker what he wanted to hear, she said -- making up stories about having sex with a former partner and a co-worker.

McKenzie became sexually aroused by the stories and raped her twice, according to testimony.

Afterward, he allowed her to get a glass of water, but she instead ran across the street to a family member's home.

Long sentence: First assistant district attorney Jennifer Russell said she will ask that McKenzie be given the maximum possible sentence. While she didn't have a state sentencing-guideline sheet with her, she confirmed McKenzie is "easily" looking at 20 years.

Sentencing is tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 16, but Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder said it could be moved if it's determined the proceeding will be lengthy.

Per state law, McKenzie must undergo an assessment and hearing to determine if he should be deemed a sexually violent predator, and that hearing will be combined with the sentencing hearing.

McKenzie remains in county prison.

Defense attorney Heather Reiner declined comment after the verdict.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.