Convicted rapist, ex-employer sued

October 15, 1990|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Evening Sun Staff

An Edgewood man who is charged with raping a Harford County woman and kidnapping a Goucher College student in July is being sued along with his former employer in a $22 million lawsuit brought by a Columbia woman he was convicted of raping last year.

The suit, filed Oct. 5 in Howard County Circuit Court, seeks $8 million from Keith W. McCormick Jr. and $14 million from Pinkerton's Inc. McCormick, 33, was employed as a Pinkerton's security guard when he raped the Columbia woman in an office building he was supposed to be protecting.

McCormick was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Howard County judge Aug. 2.

Federal authorities have charged him with kidnap and weapons offenses in connection with the July 22 abduction of a Goucher College student who was forced to drive her abductor to Augusta, Ga.

McCormick is being held by federal authorities in Atlanta.

He also has been indicted by a Harford County grand jury on first-degree rape, first-degree sexual offense and related crimes. He is charged with raping a woman acquaintance at his home after picking her up on the pretense of offering her a ride to church. That occurred just before the Goucher student was kidnapped.

The Columbia rape victim was alone in her office in the Clark Building, in the 5500 block of Sterett Place, Oct. 8, 1989, when McCormick entered, wearing nothing but his Pinkerton's jacket, according to court documents. McCormick placed a cord around the woman's neck, choked and punched her before sexually assaulting her. Afterward, he said he would kill her if she told police.

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Joseph A. Lynott of Rockville, says the victim endured pain and suffering, severe mental trauma, fright, nervousness, indignity, humiliation and embarrassment.

The 28-year-old woman has been permanently injured, the suit claims, and will continue to lose time from work and require medical treatment as a result of the incident.

Her suit alleges negligence by Pinkerton's in hiring and supervision and breach of duty to control actions of its employees.

The suit contends that Pinkerton's failed to adequately test, evaluate and investigate the character and background of security guards before hiring them and failed to properly train, monitor and regulate their actions afterward.

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