Man Given 15 Years For Abducting Child

February 08, 1991|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff writer

An Elkridge man convicted of snatching an 8-year-old Brooklyn Park girl from a street corner and molesting her was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison.

Jeffrey Meredith Chaney, 35, received 15 years for kidnapping and five years, to be served concurrently, for battery and a third-degree sexual offense despite his protests of innocence.

"I work hard, I'm a hunter and a fisherman and a golfer, and I ran my own business. I have no reason to do something like this," Chaney told Circuit Judge Bruce C. Williams. "I didn't do it, and I swear to God I didn't do it, and I swear to you I didn't do it. . . . Maybesome day they'll find who did it."

Before passing sentence, Williams said, "This is one of the most horrible nightmares of a parent, to have her child snatched up off the street and taken away and molested."

A jury convicted Chaney last December after a three-day trial. Witnesses testified that the two sisters were on their way to a store when a man in a truck pulled up beside them at the intersection ofFourth Street and Audrey Avenue, Brooklyn Park, during the evening of March 11, 1987.

As her 11-year-old sister watched, the 8-year-old girl was pulled into a truck and driven away.

The girl said the man slapped her in the face when she refused his orders to hold her head down. She said he then drove behind a truck stop, where he molested her. After he left her in Arbutus, Baltimore County, she went to ahouse and asked for help.

Chaney, who had no criminal record, didnot emerge as a suspect until three years later.

The girls pickedthe man out of a photo spread and identified him as the attacker. Also, circumstantial evidence outlined at the trial by Assistant State's Attorney Cynthia M. Ferris included a chemical analysis of a semen stain on the girl's skirt that showed the attacker had a rare enzyme known as "PGM2+." A forensic chemist for the state police said only 3.1 percent of white males have the enzyme, and Chaney's blood contained it.

Chaney's attorneys asked for a new trial, citing flaws in the chemical testing. Williams denied their motion yesterday and said other questions raised by defense attorneys had been considered by the trial jury.

The judge ordered the five-year term to be served concurrently with the 15-year sentence, because the child was not seriously injured. Guidelines prepared as part of a presentence investigation indicated Chaney should receive up to 25 years in prison.

Williams also rejected a request from assistant public defender James D. McCarthy Jr. that he set an appeal bond. Chaney has been held in jailin lieu of bond for nine months.

McCarthy said the conviction will be appealed.

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