Man Sentenced To 25 Years For Rape Outside Senior Center

October 01, 1991|By Robert Lee | Robert Lee,Staff writer

Rodney Lorenzo Smith, the 31-year-old Pasadena man who pleaded guilty to raping a 67-year-old woman outside a Glen Burnie senior citizenscenter last year, was given a 25-year prison sentence in Circuit Court yesterday.

The sentence pleased prosecutors, who had recommended a 30-year cap on the sentence in exchange for a guilty plea to first-degree rape.

Smith's lawyer had asked the court for a light sentence, protesting in vain that the state's prison system was indirectly responsible for the crime.

Smith "was a diagnosed and medicated schizophrenic,who was released from the state's prison system with no conditions for treating his mental illness," Smith's attorney, Michael Kaplan, said in asking Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. for leniency. "Part of the tragedy of this case was the responsibility the state had in it, (by) not following up on his psychological problems. That allowed this tragedy to happen."

Kaplan said he may appeal the sentence, but has no intention of appealing the case.

Thieme's 25-year sentence was the minimum recommended under state guidelines due to the severity of the crime, the vulnerability of the victim and Smith's past criminal record.

Smith had been released on parole from the Maryland Correctional Institution at Hagerstown in June 1990, after serving eight years of a 15-year prison sentence for armed robbery.

He has admitted to the Aug. 24, 1990, rape of a Glen Burnie woman, who was walking her dog outside the Pinewood Senior Citizens Center.

Records show that Smith, of the 300 block Addison Drive in the Freetown area of Pasadena, had been diagnosed a schizophrenic, with an anti-social personality disorder and a gamut of substance-abuse problems, while he wasserving time at Hagerstown.

But Kaplan said the state failed to follow up or assure that he was receiving medication as a condition ofhis parole.

Smith was found sane and fit to stand trial in a pre-trial psychiatric examination ordered for his bond hearing last year.Neither he nor his lawyers ever challenged the decision with an insanity plea.

Deputy State's Attorney William D. Roessler said it maybe appropriate to jail Smith in an institution where he can get special psychiatric counseling. But Roessler said he believes the victim and the citizens of the county would not have been satisfied with a reduced sentence.

Roessler said Smith is "not at all likely" to qualify for parole, since the rape was committed in violation of his last parole.

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