Corey Collins showed no remorse for his actions on Friday in his sentencing hearing. The 21-year-old who was found guilty of multiple sex abuse charges in February pointed his finger at the five victims during his statement to Union County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Powers. It was Collins’ lack of empathy that led Powers to sentence the Elgin resident to more than 41 years in prison.
Collins has been in the Union County Jail since November 2017 when he was arrested. Five underage female victims came forward with similar stories of how he took advantage of their vulnerability and sexually assaulted them. At the time of the incidents all the women were underage. At the end of a five-day trial, Collins was found guilty of 11 of 20 sexual abuse charges. One of the charges alone earned him 25 years in prison.
The sentencing hearing on Friday included multiple outbursts from Collins against District Attorney Kelsie McDaniel as well as the judge.
Powers said Collins was “one of the most remarkable” people he had ever come across in his career — and not in a good way.
In sentencing hearings, victims, defendants, their families and their lawyers are able to make final statements to the judge about why the defendant should be given the maximum penalty or some leniency.
McDaniel said Collins was the most “dangerous sexual predator I have ever come in contact with” in her career.
She said Collins treated his situation as a joke throughout the entire trial process. He made threats against the Oregon State Police trooper responsible for the case, as well as his family, McDaniel said. He made threats against the victims and had winked at a woman attending the trial.
“He has learned nothing through this process,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel talked about a sexual harassment accusation made against Collins when he was a juvenile. She said the details of the claim were “remarkably similar” to the incidents in this case.
While McDaniel was talking about this juvenile case, Collins started to protest and mumbled to the DA that she needed to “shut her damn mouth.”
Next, the victims and families talked about the impacts of Collins’ actions.
“I’ve never been more terrified and didn’t know what to do,” Victim No. 1 said of the night Collins sexually assaulted her. “Now I live in fear this will happen again. I am afraid.”
Her mother said her daughter cannot sleep without the light on.
“Her personality changed,” she said. “That night changed everything. I couldn’t fix her problem with a hug or kiss.”
Victim No. 3 said Collins assaulted her because she broke up with him and rejected him multiple times.
“He views young women as objects,” she said.
Victim No. 5, who had been engaged to Collins and has a son with him, said she always thought she and Collins would be a family.
During the February trial, Victim No. 5 said on the night of the assault, she had not been feeling well. She and Collins were lying in bed in his trailer and Collins wanted to have sex with her, but she had said no multiple times.
Despite that, Collins forced her, she said. She testified Collins said the next morning “he felt like he had raped (her).”
Also during the trial in February, Khirenda Collins, Corey’s sister, testified that she had seen Corey and Victim No. 5 together during the time of a no-contact order.
Victim No. 5 said Friday that her idea of a family with Collins is gone.
“He hurt me mentally and physically,” she said.
The victim’s parents testified they felt helpless for their daughter.
“I’ve heard her wake in terror,” her mother said.
Her father said Collins had promised to love and protect his daughter.
“It’s one thing to learn your daughter was raped, it’s another to hear it in court,” he said.
Victims No. 2 and 4 were unable to attend the sentencing hearing.
Collins’ defense attorney, James Schaeffer, asked rhetorically what was an appropriate amount of time for his client to serve a sentence.
“While my client was an adult, he wasn’t that much older than the victims,” Schaeffer said. “How much time is enough for my client to pay for his actions?”
Collins’ family said Corey was a loving human being who had a bad temper. Most of them said he was unintelligent, and Shataeu Lansdon, Corey’s sister, added he was mentally not mature at the time of the assaults. They argued he shouldn’t have his life taken away from him because of this situation.
Collins then spoke directly to Powers.
He apologized for his outbursts and then said he had been a “little kid” when those incidents had taken place.
“(Victim No. 3) and I got drunk and slept together. If I had been sober, I wouldn’t have,” Collins said.
He then recanted the statement and said “it sounded way worse than it should’ve.”
Collins said he shouldn’t go away for life.
“Why am I supposed to mope and cry? There’s nothing I can do to change (things). Crying won’t fix anything,” he said, alluding to the lack of apology. “Women have all the power in society. They just point their finger, and you’re guilty.”
He also said McDaniel pushed this case for “political gain.”
Just 15 minutes later, Powers came back with his decision.
He said the young women, under the law, are classified as victims, but by coming forward, they start the process of being survivors.
“It was compelling to hear (their testimonies),” Powers said.
The judge then addressed Collins.
“I understand how life-changingly significant my decision is,” Powers told the defendant. “What I heard at the hearing ... changed what I was (planning on) doing. What people say (during their statements) matters.”
Powers told Collins he had been taken aback that the defendant still denies he sexually assaulted the victims.
“It happened,” Powers said of the assaults. “I gave out the convictions.”
He said there was a “profound lack of empathy” from the defendant who claims to be a victim of false accusations.
“I find that remark to be somewhat disturbing,” Powers said. “What I saw was vulnerable girls not protected but treated as prey.”
Powers said Collins was “reprehensible” when he preyed on one of the victims because her father had fired him from a job.
“What kind of mind decides to get revenge (on someone) by sexually assaulting his daughter?” he asked.
The judge had the option of running Collins’ sentences concurrently (at the same time) or consecutively.
“What I heard today, especially from Collins, was an extraordinary inability or unwillingness to take responsibility for what happened.… Based on what I heard today, the sentence will be served consecutively. That’s not a decision I expected to make.”
The sentence Collins could’ve received was 25 years. Powers said due largely to Collins’ actions in court, he will now be serving more than 41 years in prison and a lifetime of post-prison supervision.
The Collins family does intend to appeal the decision.