Willett Sentenced to Nine Consecutive Life Sentences Plus 15 Years

Fri, Apr 26, 2024 at 5:33PM

Willett Sentenced to Nine Consecutive Life Sentences Plus 15 Years


April 26, 2024     


State of Florida v. Donald Ray Willett Jr.


DOB: 07/19/1984

Case Number: 2021-0358-CF


Willett Sentenced to Nine Consecutive Life Sentences Plus 15 Years

PALATKA – During a hearing this morning, defendant Donald Willett Jr. was sentenced to nine consecutive life sentences plus 15 years.

A Putnam County jury last month found Willett guilty as charged of three counts of Sexual Battery on person less than 12 years of age, two counts of Lewd/Lascivious Molestation on person less than 12 years of age, Lewd/Lascivious Exhibition on person less than 16 years of age and four counts of Sex Battery on person 12 to 18 years of age by a person in a familial or custodial authority.

The defendant subjected his young stepdaughter to nine agonizing years of repeated emotional torment and physical sexual abuse. The bravery of this young victim to finally come forward was nothing less than courageous.

“Many children endure sexual abuse silently, while their abuser repeatedly rapes them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said about the case. “Our victim suffered unspeakable acts for almost a decade before making the profoundly courageous decision to report the defendant to the authorities. It turned out to be more than she could bear – she took her own life to end the suffering she carried from the countless episodes of abuse. Parents, protect your children – never assume it could not happen to your family. At least the defendant will never rape another child and he will die in a Florida prison. If we could make the defendant suffer what he put our victim through – that would be JUSTICE.”

The case was investigated by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorneys Deb Rothenberg and Jennifer Lieb successfully prosecuted the case for the state. The Honorable Alicia Washington presided over the case and pronounced sentence.


For more information contact: 

Haley Harrison | Multimedia Specialist/PIO | Office of State Attorney R.J. Larizza, Florida's Seventh Judicial Circuit | SAOPIO@SAO7.org

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