Man found guilty in the abduction of Goucher student Ordeal last year took woman to Georgia

August 01, 1991|By Kelly Gilbert | Kelly Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff

A federal jury in Baltimore has convicted Keith W. McCormick Jr. of kidnapping and other felonies connected to the abduction and rape of a Goucher College student last July.

The jury deliberated only 2 1/2 hours in U.S. District Court late Tuesday before convicting McCormick, 34, of Edgewood, of kidnapping, interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle and use of a dangerous weapon in a violent crime.

McCormick is to be tried later on related charges of interstate transportation of a firearm and making a false statement to obtain a firearm. (The Evening Sun incorrectly reported in two editions yesterday that the defendant had been convicted of the latter two charges.)

Judge William N. Nickerson set sentencing for Nov. 15 in the kidnapping case.

The victim testified last week how McCormick abducted her at gunpoint in Towson, threatened her and forced her twice to have sexual relations with him -- once after he choked her into unconsciousness -- while she drove him to Augusta, Ga., where he attempted to see his estranged wife.

The victim said she was "pleased with the verdict, but I really don't want to talk about it anymore."

She and her mother hugged Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter M. Semel after court adjourned, and thanked him for what a colleague said was an outstanding job of handling the case with co-prosecutor Christopher K. Mead.

Throughout his questioning of the victim on the witness stand, Semel stopped periodically to offer her drinks of water and asked if she was OK as he coaxed the emotional testimony from her that seemed to assure McCormick's conviction.

McCormick did not testify.

McCormick was represented by Joseph A. Balter, assistant federal public defender, who maintained that the young woman had willingly accompanied the defendant on the trip to Georgia.

At the time of the abduction, McCormick was awaiting sentencing for the rape of a Columbia woman. He later was sentenced to 18 years in state prison in that case.

He also is awaiting trial on rape charges connected to the alleged sexual assault at knifepoint of a woman in Harford County the same day he abducted the Goucher student.

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