ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (TCD) — A 23-year-old man who raped multiple underage girls he met online will spend the rest of his life in prison.
According to the initial news release from the St. Louis County Police Department posted in 2019, Dominic Yocco met his victims on Snapchat and other social media applications, and he raped at least five victims who were under the age of 16.
Police said he turned himself in on Sept. 11, 2019. The next month, on Oct. 23, 2019, police said a grand jury indicted Yocco on two counts of first-degree statutory rape, six counts of statutory sodomy, and two counts of child molestation.
Several years later, in September 2022, Yocco was convicted on nine counts of rape, six counts of sodomy, and one count of attempted sodomy, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. On Thursday, Jan. 26, Yocco was officially sentenced to 16 consecutive life sentences and will be eligible for parole after 83 years, KSDK-TV reports.
Charging documents obtained by the news source allege that three of his victims were unconscious when he assaulted them, and two of them were under the age of 14.
During the trial, one victim reportedly said Yocco “took advantage of me at the most vulnerable time of my life” and that she has suffered panic attacks ever since.
According to KSDK, one of the victim’s mothers spoke at the trial and said her daughter suffered PTSD, depression, and anxiety after the rape, and she ended up killing herself. The girl was 13 years old when Yocco initially contacted her on Snapchat, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
During the trial, the victim’s mother reportedly said, “She was a little girl who had not even had her first kiss. It broke my heart. I couldn’t fix it for her. I couldn’t protect her.”
Another victim reportedly said, “I have panic attacks that last hours,” and added, “I will never forget how disgusting of a person Dominic is.”
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, during the trial, testimony revealed that Yocco would often meet his victims on social media, coerce them with alcohol, and assault them at his grandmother’s house, where he lived.
Yocco’s mother and grandmother were present during the sentencing and addressed the court, KSDK reports. Yocco also addressed the court and reportedly said, “I do not regret anything in life. I have learned a lot from what I’ve been through.”
In a statement obtained by KTVI-TV, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said, “A predator is now off the streets. We want to give justice to victims. We want to keep the public safe and working with our law enforcement partners and, obviously, our trial staff, we’ve been able to do that.”