Gambrills Man Sentenced To 20 Years For Crofton Rape

October 03, 1991|By Deidre Nerreau McCabe | Deidre Nerreau McCabe,Staff writer

A Gambrills man received a 20-year sentence yesterday for choking and raping a 19-year-old woman a year ago in a Crofton parking lot.

Abner David Stevens, 32, pleaded guilty to first-degree rape in connection with the August 1990 attack in return for a plea agreement of no more than 25 years in prison.

Prosecutor Ronald M. Naditch said the 20 years imposed by CircuitJudge Raymond E. Thieme Jr. was "an appropriate sentence" for such aviolent crime.

Naditch said the victim submitted an impact statement to the court prior to Stevens' sentencing, saying he should be made to suffer the way she did.

"The victim felt that he should be punished in a way that redressed what happened to her," said Naditch, adding that the statement graphically described the physical torture she wanted Stevens to endure.

"She's afraid to go out at night, she's afraid of men, she's moved out of the area," he said. The emotional trauma the victim has experienced is severe, he said.

Defense attorney H. Richard Duden III said he had asked for a sentence of 15 years and a lengthy period of supervised probation. Although a presentence investigation by the state's Division of Parole and Probation suggested a sentence of 18 to 25 years, Duden said he thought 15 years would "address society's need for punishment" in this case.

First-degree rape carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

"I'm disappointed with the length of time imposed, but I can understand it," he said, adding that the crime was "a serious offense." Duden said he would file a request asking the judge to reconsider his sentence.

Stevens has prior convictions for battery in 1989 and disturbing the peace in 1983, which is considered a "minor" criminal record by the courts, Duden said.

According to court records, Stevens, who was unemployed at the time, stopped and offered a ride to the victim at about 11 p.m. August 18, 1990, as she walked south on Route 3. The woman, who had just left work at a Pizza Hut, declined the offer.

Stevens, who was driving a green 1978 Pinto, later emerged from some bushes near a shopping center at the intersection of routes 3 and 424 and grabbed the woman. He choked her for about five minutes and then threw her to the ground and raped her, court records state.

Later thatnight, county police officers found a green Pinto with the hood still warm at Stevens' house. Stevens gave conflicting statements on whenhe had last driven the car, court records said.

Tests later showed a match between Stevens' DNA and DNA found in semen collected from the victim's clothing, court records show.

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