Recklein says he doesn't remember the rape, telling authorities he blacked out and arrived home with a swollen hand.
was drinking with a friend at a bar in May 2008 when he dialed a woman's number programmed into his buddy's cell phone.
Recklein told the 18-year-old woman on the other end of the line that his friend was drunk and needed a ride home. The woman agreed to lend a hand, showing up at a nearby park in Granite City where she was met by Recklein who told her that the drunk friend was peeing in the woods. That's when Recklein allegedly grabbed the woman, put her into a headlock and beat her to a bloody pulp before raping her.
A park employee found the victim a few hours later, mistaking her broken body for garbage that someone dumped in the park. The woman was too beaten to speak.
DNA evidence on her underwear linked Recklein to the crime and a judge convicted him of the rape and beating last November.
Yesterday that same judge, Madison County Associate Judge Kyle Napp, sentenced Recklein to 50 years in prison and mandating that he serve at least 85 percent of the sentence, or 42.5 years.
After yesterday's hearing the victim -- now 20 -- told a reporter with the Belleville News-Democrat
that she's still trying to "fix her brain" and trust people again.
Recklein, meanwhile, plans to appeal the guilty verdict.