PHOENIX, AZ (September 26, 2013) – A violent sexual predator will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars for breaking into a woman’s apartment and violently attacking her in 2007. James Brian Kummer (D.O.B 9/8/1967) was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Warren Granville to a term of 35 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections followed by a life sentence with no possibility of release until he serves an additional 25 years.
“This sentence not only holds a dangerous criminal fully accountable for the harm he has inflicted, it also ensures he will never have an opportunity to victimize other members of our community,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Our ability to incarcerate this defendant for an appropriately long period of time is a validation of Arizona’s sentencing laws, which impose stronger punishments on defendants with multiple felony offenses,” he added.
Early on the morning of July 23, 2007 Sandra Perez-Lopez was getting ready to go to work. She shared an apartment with her brother and sister who had left for work earlier that morning and did not lock the door behind them, as was their practice. While Sandra was in the bathroom taking a shower, James Kummer entered the apartment through the unlocked door. He reached the hallway between the living room and the bathroom just as Sandra was leaving the bathroom and had finished dressing.
Kummer was wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun. He told Sandra in Spanish that he would not harm her and placed a finger over his lips, indicating that she should not scream. He took her by the hand and led her to the front door where he used his free hand to spin the deadbolt locking the door. He tied her hands behind her back with zip ties and placed tape over her eyes and mouth. He then pushed her down the hallway into one of the bedrooms where he pushed her down on to the bed.
As Sandra struggled, Kummer tore off her blouse and bra. At one point he placed his hands around her neck to strangle her. When he tried to remove her pants, Sandra managed to scream through a hole in the tape. Kummer ripped off the tape and shoved a piece of cloth in her mouth. He hit her once in the head, possibly with the butt of the gun, and then left the apartment with Sandra’s purse, which contained her ID and approximately $140 in cash. Sandra was later able to exit the apartment and go to an adjoining unit, where a neighbor summoned the police.
Investigators were able to identify Kummer as the perpetrator by matching DNA evidence collected from the crime scene to DNA samples Kummer had provided as a consequence of previous criminal offenses. At the time of his arrest, he was serving a prison sentence for an unrelated drug offense.
On July 8, 2010, the Grand Jurors of Maricopa County charged Kummer with multiple felony offenses related to the attack. After an eleven-day trial that began on June 7, 2013, the jury deliberated for less than two days before finding him guilty of Burglary, Kidnapping, Violent Sexual Assault, Attempted Sexual Assault and Assault. Jurors were unable to reach a verdict on one count of Armed Robbery. Prosecutors succeeded in obtaining an enhanced sentence for Kummer by alleging that he had been previously convicted for Sexual Assault, Theft, and Failure to Register as a Sex Offender.