Prosecutors: Man who raped, murdered toddler pleads guilty

TACOMA, Wash. -- The 19-year-old man who raped and murdered a toddler in March could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Jake Musga pleaded guilty Monday to first degree murder and child rape in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old son, according to prosecutors.

Tacoma police arrested Musga at the Commencement Terrace apartments on March 30 after a witness called 911 to report that Musga was holding a baby "covered with bruises," according to court documents.

The child was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Prosecutors say the toddler showed no signs of brain activity when he arrived at the hospital, was bruised "from head to toe," had internal bleeding and a blood-alcohol level of 0.12 -- an amount beyond what would be considered drunk in an adult.

Musga, who is not the child's father, told investigators he watched the child when the boy's mother was at work. According to police, he claimed the injuries resulted from a series of events days earlier where the boy had accidents, such as bumping his head on a counter, slipping in the shower, and falling out of bed.

He also claimed he had poured himself a drink with multiple shots of vodka and that the boy must have drank some while he was in another room.

But an autopsy revealed the boy had suffered injuries "too numerous to count," including fatal blows to the head and torso that were inconsistent with the events Musga described, prosecutors said.

Musga initially pleaded not guilty to the crimes, but has since admitted to the murder and acknowledged the crimes warrant an exceptional sentence, prosecutors say.

"Nothing shocks the conscience more than the murder of a child," Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in Monday news release. "We are asking the court for the functional equivalent of a life-sentence."

Musga will be sentenced in November. The standard sentence range is 22 years to life in prison, but prosecutors will be asking the judge to sentence Musga to 60 years to life.
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