29-year sentence in rape of student Edgewood man convicted of raping, abducting Goucher College student.

November 18, 1991|By Kelly Gilbert | Kelly Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff

Convicted rapist Keith W. McCormick Jr. has been sentenced to 29 years and five months in federal prison without parole on kidnapping and two other felony convictions tied to the abduction and rape of a Goucher College student last year.

McCormick, 34, of Edgewood, received the sentence in U.S. District Court in Baltimore Friday, two days after he was sentenced in Harford County to two consecutive life terms for the knifepoint rape and sexual assault of an Aberdeen woman the same day he abducted the student.

Judge William N. Nickerson ordered that the federal sentence be served consecutively to the life terms and another 18 years McCormick serving in state prison for the rape of a Columbia woman in October 1989.

Nickerson enhanced McCormick's sentence under federal guidelines after prosecutor Peter M. Semel said the victim still suffers from severe post-traumatic stress directly caused by her abduction and the two rapes that occurred when McCormick forced her to drive him to Georgia, where he intended to kill his estranged wife's boyfriend.

Semel called McCormick's treatment of the victim "heinous, cruel and degrading."

"He abducted her, threatened her life and raped her twice," co-prosecutor Christopher K. Mead told the judge. "Her life was literally hanging on the whim of a man who was totally out of control."

Defense attorney Joseph A. Balter asked Nickerson to make the federal sentence run concurrently with McCormick's other prison terms.

But Mead said to do that "would be as if this crime against [this victim] never happened. . . . It would be an unconscionable risk to ever let this man walk the streets again."

The victim, whose vivid testimony sealed McCormick's federal conviction last summer, said after court, "I'm glad it's finally over, and that he will never be able to hurt anyone else again."

Court officials said McCormick must serve at least 34 1/2 years in state prison before he is eligible for parole, then must serve the consecutive, no-parole federal term. It is unlikely, the officials said, that he will ever be freed.

The defense contended during the trial that the victim had consented to accompany McCormick on a 24-hour odyssey from Towson to Augusta, Ga.

Prosecutors said Friday that that "consent defense" worsened the victim's psychological damage.

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