Woman testifies that McCormick kidnapped, raped her Victim says suspect threatened her along trek from Towson to Georgia.

July 24, 1991|By Kelly Gilbert | Kelly Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff

"I kept begging him to leave me alone," the young woman said, as she told a federal jury how Keith W. McCormick Jr. raped her twice after he abducted her and forced her to drive him from Towson to Augusta, Ga., last July.

The woman, a former Goucher College student, testified yesterday in graphic terms how McCormick forced her to have intercourse and perform other sexual acts with him in motel rooms in Virginia and North Carolina that he forced her to rent with her credit card.

"I told him I was a virgin," the witness said softly, wiping her nose with a tissue and fighting unsuccessfully to contain her tears.

But she said McCormick threatened her with a knife and a pistol, and told her, "I heard you college girls were wild."

She agreed to his demands, she said, "because I didn't want to die."

The woman testified in U.S. District Court in Baltimore in McCormick's trial on kidnapping, firearms violations and related charges. The trial began Monday and is expected to last three weeks.

Prosecutors Peter M. Semel and Christopher K. Mead contend that McCormick forced the young woman's car off a road in Towson July 22, 1990, abducted her and ordered her to drive him overnight to Georgia, where he intended to kidnap his estranged wife.

Joseph A. Balter, an assistant federal public defender who represents McCormick, contends that the young woman was a willing participant in the trek.

The witness, however, said McCormick repeatedly threatened her during the trip to Georgia. She said she often looked for ways to escape, but he "always stayed right beside me and reminded me that he had a knife and a gun on me."

Throughout her testimony, the defendant stared at her but showed no emotion. She rarely looked at him except to identify him as the man who abducted her.

When they stopped at a motel in Newington, Va., the witness said, she tried unsuccessfully to flee through a bathroom window. Then he raped her.

She said she left a pen with her father's name and business phone number at the motel. "I was hoping someone would find it and call my father," she said.

McCormick told her he would not kill her or rape her again, she said, and would free her in Georgia.

That night, they checked into another motel, in Raleigh, N.C., she said. He tied her hands and feet with her shoestrings so she could not escape while he slept.

A few hours later, she said, he awoke her and raped her again.

In Augusta, McCormick loaded his rifle with high-velocity bullets and approached his wife's house, but returned to the car seconds later and told her to drive away.

A few blocks away, she told McCormick, "I'm stopping and getting out of the car. I can't take this anymore. You'll just have to shoot me if you want."

She said she got out of her car, and McCormick drove away. He was arrested later that day in Columbia, S.C.

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