An unusual case from Westminster occurred last week, a registered sex offender allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted a young woman. This case is unusual because, in 87 percent of sexual assaults and four out of five rapes, the victim knows the attacker. Stranger assaults, like this one, while terrifying are not normal.
According to the police, the primary suspect is a Tier III registered sex offender (the highest level in Maryland). He was placed on the list after a 1998 conviction for second-degree rape in Baltimore County for which he was sentenced to 20 years. He was released earlier this year for time served prior to conviction and probation.
Reportedly, the victim and a male friend were walking down Winters Alley (a street known for criminal activity but not rapes) when the attacker confronted them and hinted that he had a gun. He allegedly forced both the male and female victims to the ground then dragged the female away. Police surrounded the area and found the victim 30 minutes later.
The attacker is said to have taken her to the backyard of a home where the assault occurred. An officer allegedly witnessed the assault while he intervened. The attacker did not possess any weapons on his person.
He is facing first and second-degree rape, two counts of second-degree assault and kidnapping per electronic court records. A second-degree rape charge can result in up to 20 years in prison while a first-degree charge is life without the possibility of parole.
If you are facing sexual assault charges then you may want to speak to a defense attorney as soon as possible. Most sexual assault cases occur between friends or family members, not strangers as this allegedly might be the case. It can occur because of a misunderstanding or due to alcohol. Regardless of the circumstances, these are serious charges and are pursued vigorously by the police and prosecutors. You will want an attorney on your side to ensure that you get fair treatment by the police and courts.
Source: Carroll County Times, “Police: Registered sex offender charged with kidnaping, raping teen in Westminster,” S. Wayne Carter Jr. and Heather Mongilio, May 6th, 2016