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Man sentenced to 30 years in Snellville assault

LAWRENCEVILLE - An Atlanta man originally charged with 13 crimes - including rape and aggravated sodomy - has been sentenced to 30 years after pleading guilty to lesser charges.

The sentence for Michael Jerome Spence, 29, accused of raping and sodomizing his ex-girlfriend in her Snellville home on Aug. 5, 2007, was handed down Monday by Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Debra Turner.

In a non-negotiated plea, Spence pleaded to three counts of aggravated assault in connection with the incident, said Assistant District Attorney Stephen Fern, who prosecuted the case.

"The remaining charges were dismissed, since he did enter a plea," Fern said.

Spence will serve the first 15 years of his sentence in prison, but is likely to be paroled before then, Fern said. The remaining time is to be served under the supervision of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Due to the nature of the charges, Fern said, Spence will also be required to undergo sex offender and domestic violence counseling, and a drug and alcohol evaluation.

According to police, Spence drove a stolen 2007 Dodge Charger to the Cordite Loop residence and broke in when his knocking was ignored. He then attacked a man inside the home with a baseball bat, reports said. The man reportedly called police after being forced outside the home, but not before Spence forced the woman to have sex with him, police said.

The woman's child was home during the incident.

Police said that during the incident, Spence was carrying a Tic Tac bottle in his front pocket containing 10 pills of Ecstasy.