Victim Describes Rapist's Scars During Trial Of Columbia Man

March 10, 1991|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Staff writer

She awoke to feel hands on her back.

She opened her eyes to see alarge knife in front of her face and a strange man standing by her bed.

The intruder ordered her to do as he said, and she wouldn't get hurt. She was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by the stranger.He continually told her not to look at his face. Throughout, her 6-year-old daughter was sleeping across the hall.

A 30-year-old Columbia woman tearfully related this sequence of events Friday to a Howard County Circuit Court jury, during the first day of testimony in therape trial of Willie Lee Small.

If convicted, Small, 33, would face a life sentence for the May 27 rape of a woman who lives in his apartment building in the village of Long Reach in Columbia. He has pleaded not guilty to all 14 charges against him, including several counts of first-degree rape and other sexual offenses.

In his opening statement, assistant state's attorney Timothy G. Wolf gave a gruesomedescription of the crimes to the five-man, seven-woman jury assembled in the courtroom of Judge Cornelius F. Sybert Jr.

"The sanctity of the home is broken, an intruder enters and forcibly, by use of a weapon, repeatedly rapes, vaginally and anally, a mother of a 6-year-old girl in that home," he said.

Although the victim was told by her assailant not to look at his face, Wolf said, she had the presence of mind to take note of other distinguishing characteristics, such asscars and clothing. She identified Small as her attacker from policephotos of the scarring on his back.

During the trial expected to continue through midweek, the state will introduce evidence, including DNA profiles, to prove that Small is guilty, Wolf said. The prosecutor said testing of the genetic material showed that semen taken fromthe scene of the crime matched Small's DNA.

The victim testified last week that her attacker tried to cover her face with a pillow to prevent her from seeing his face. She begged him not to use the pillow and promised she wouldn't look at him.

But when ordered by the assailant to put her arms around him, she felt "wrinkled, dry" skin and a raised area on his right shoulder blade. When her face brushed against the front of the attacker's right shoulder, the woman said, shefelt a mole-like growth. She was able to determine the intruder was a black man and that he wore black athletic shoes during the attack.

At Wolf's request, Small removed his shirt in the courtroom so thevictim could look at the texture of his skin. She said the placementof the Small's mole was "exactly" where her head had touched his shoulder.

The woman testified that during the assault, her attacker repeatedly told her to "shut up" or he would hurt her. She cooperated,she said, because she feared for the safety of her daughter, asleep in her bedroom across the hall.

"All I could think of was that my child was in the next room," she said. "I didn't know if he would hurt her."

At one point, the victim testified, she heard her daughterstirring. The attacker ordered her to check on the child and return.When the woman refused to come back to her bedroom, the assailant grabbed her by the throat, forced her to her room and threw her on the bed, where he raped and sexually assaulted her again.

The victim also testified that during the attack, the assailant told her several times that he "couldn't wait to get to Baltimore to tell his buddies what he was up to."

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