Because of his criminal past, Michael C. Blocker, 35, received the maximum sentence possible, life in prison, which he must serve without the possibility of parole.
Mr. Blocker's plea in Richmond County Superior Court ended his trial, which began Monday.
He had been adamant from the time of his arrest that he did not rape the 75-year-old cancer survivor in her Walton Way home.
He remembered being in the woman's condo and leaving with a bag of coins, but Mr. Blocker said he had no memory of ever touching the woman. He said he thought she made it up.
But after hearing the victim testify Tuesday, Mr. Blocker said he knew she was telling the truth.
Afterward, he thought of his mother and what he would do if someone attacked her, Mr. Blocker said, adding that he cried.
"It was wrong what I did, and I apologize," he said.
In the early morning of Jan. 9, 2007, the victim returned to her home after walking her dog. Mr. Blocker had sneaked into the condo while she was outside.
He stole money and jewelry and then raped the woman before leaving.
A couple of unique pieces of the jewelry led investigators to Mr. Blocker. DNA testing tied him to the rape.
Assistant District Attorney Ashley Wright told the judge Wednesday that Mr. Blocker's criminal history included a 1990 burglary, a 1992 theft and 1995 convictions for possession of cocaine and hijacking a motor vehicle.
Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.