An Aiken man who was charged in the assault on a young woman during the summer has entered in a guilty plea this morning

Derek Randolph Brooks, 38, has pled guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. He has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

“You're not going to have the benefit of seeing your children grow up. Your parents aren't going to see you walk out of that jail,” Judge Thomas Cooper said to Brooks.

Brooks was arrested and charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct after the assault on a 22-year-old woman that occurred in downtown Aiken on July 12.

The incident happened about 2:50 a.m. that evening near the intersection of Newberry Street and Park Avenue, according to police. The victim left a downtown establishment and was walking alone when she was assaulted by a man who was walking behind her. Police said that she was struck in the head.

The assailant reportedly did not have a weapon and used only his hands, police said.

Before sentencing, Judge Cooper heard from the victim, her father, Aiken Public Safety Chief Charles Barranco, Brooks' father and Brooks himself. Brooks turned to the victim and her family, apologized and asked for forgiveness. He then turned to his own family, apologized and asked for their forgiveness.

“I ask you to forgive me for all I've done,” Brooks said while facing the victim.

The victim addressed the court before Brooks spoke.

“My heart breaks for the defendant's family,” she said before asking for the maximum sentence. “I would hate for this to happen to any other girl.”

The Aiken Standard will have more on this story as it develops.