A paroled armed robber pleaded guilty yesterday to raping a 67-year-old woman as she walked her dog near a Glen Burnie senior citizens center.
Rodney Lorenzo Smith had been released on parole last June after serving eight years of a 15-year prison sentence for armed robbery. The woman was raped Aug. 24.
Smith, 30, of the 300 block Addison Drive in the Freetown area ofPasadena, pleaded guilty yesterday to first-degree rape in exchange for a prosecutor's promise to recommend a sentence of not more than 30 years in prison. The maximum penalty for first-degree rape is life in prison.
At the hearing yesterday in county Circuit Court, Smithdenied raping the woman. But Smith, who said he was on the drug Thorazine, told the court he was pleading guilty because enough evidence existed to allow a jury to convict him.
Deputy State's Attorney William D. Roessler said the victim was a resident of the Pinewood Senior Citizens Center in Glen Burnie. He said the woman took her dog fora walkon a nearby road about 7 p.m. when she was approached by a manwho struck up a conversation about getting his grandmother admitted at the senior community.
The man then grabbed the woman by the shoulder and pulled her into the woods. When the woman began screaming, the man used his hand to cover her mouth so completely she thought she was going to suffocate, the prosecutor said.
After the woman fell, the man pulled down her shorts and raped her, Roessler said.
The man fled, and the woman began screaming for help. She was taken to North Arundel Hospital for treatment. When Smith became a suspect in the case, the woman picked him from a photographic lineup and said hewas the rapist, Roessler said.
Police also found a red sweat shirt in Smith's room at his home matching the description of a sweat shirt worn by the rapist, and DNA tests linked Smith to the rape, the prosecutor said.
Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for June 28.