Jurors on Friday convicted Mishak Gibson, the only remaining defendant in a teenage gang’s crime spree that included the brutal gang rape of a mother who had gone for an evening jog in North Miami Beach.
Gibson was just 16 when prosecutors say he and five other teens raped the woman along the Snake Creek Canal in May 2008.
“A group of males that was acting like a pack of animals,” Miami-Dade prosecutor Maggie Gerson told the jury during Friday afternoon’s closing arguments.
Gibson, 22, was linked to the crime through DNA — his and the victim’s — found on a condom at the crime scene. To North Miami Beach police detectives, he also admitted to being present during the attack.
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His defense attorney countered that there was no way to prove when his genetic material got on the condom.
“They would like you to believe he participated in his assault, that is not what the scientific evidence proved,” defense lawyer Beresford Landers said.
The crime spree lasted just 90 minutes but made headlines for its sheer brutality.
Police said the teens also attacked another woman on a bicycle in an attempted rape and carjacked two vehicles. One of the teens led cops on a 100-mph chase on the Palmetto Expressway before crashing.
The six teenagers ranged in age from 13 to 18. All but Gibson agreed to plea deals ranging from 12 to 30 years behind bars.
Jurors deliberated three hours before convicting Gibson of attempted sexual battery and armed sexual battery.
Gibson, a former Miramar High student, had earlier rejected a 13-year prison plea offer, opting to go to trial despite the insurmountable forensic evidence. Now, Gibson is looking at up to life in prison when he is sentenced sometime in the coming months.
Prosecutors said the conviction offered at least some small measure of justice for the victim, a former credit-card company executive who lost her job and her marriage after the attack.
“The victim in this case will now receive some closure after one of the most horrific acts ever done in this county,” Gerson said.