A Mississippi man received six life sentences Friday for his sexual crimes in Memphis spanning over seven years.
Michael Love, a 46-year-old resident of Horn Lake, Mississippi, was found guilty of the kidnapping and sexual assault of six Memphis women and the rape of another woman between 2008 and 2015.
Following a jury trial in May 2019, Love was sentenced last week to six life sentences and one 20-year term in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl Lipman.
“The horrific physical violence, sexual abuse, and emotional torment suffered by the victims in this case cannot be undone, but these life sentences ensure that this violent and evil sexual predator will pay for his depraved actions and will never be free again to victimize others,” said U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant. “As a result of the outstanding investigative work of the MPD and the FBI, as well as the excellent trial presentation by our federal and state prosecutors, these victims have seen their cases solved, and justice has been achieved.”
Love would travel from Mississippi to Tennessee to find and meet women, hold them against their wills, engage in forced sexual intercourse, and abandon the victims in a deserted part of Memphis, according to the evidence presented in trial.
Love chose some of the victims at random, while he met others through social media or chat rooms using false identities. He would take the women to unlit or uninhabited areas, where he would rape them and eventually force them out of his car, leaving the women without any personal items.
Each woman, including one minor, reported the incidents to the police and had DNA collected for evidence. Other biological evidence was also collected and preserved in sexual assault kits. Ultimately, DNA linked Love to the cases when he was arrested in 2015 and a sample of his DNA was taken.
Using the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a national database designed to help identify suspects in unsolved cases, the Memphis Police Department's Sex Crimes Bureau and Cold Case Unit, identified Love as a suspect in the seven cases.
Love also has unresolved cases pending in Shelby County Criminal Court, where he has been charged with rape, aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, criminal attempt kidnapping, and robbery.