Lyba Reconvicted Of Rape Of Severna Park Woman

January 14, 1992|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff writer

A Pasadena man was convicted yesterday for a second time in the 1987rape of an 18-year-old Severna Park woman, ending a trial that included a courtroom outburst from the man's sister.

Stanley Lyba, who last week watched with cool poise as the victim tearfully described being raped, hung his head and appeared to be blinking back tears after the verdict was announced.

Lyba, 38, was granted a new trial after his February 1989 conviction was overturned last year. He was led away in handcuffs last nightafter a judge revoked his bond.

At his sentencing, scheduled for Feb. 21, Lyba faces a maximum penalty of life in prison for the rape conviction. He also was found guilty of first- and third-degree sexual offenses.

Earlier yesterday, closing arguments in the case had been interrupted when Lyba's sister, who refused to give her name, stood up and denounced the prosecutor, Cynthia M. Ferris.

The outburst began after Ferris told the jury that the victim should not be expected to know whether her attacker was circumcised.

"Oh, yeah? Oh, yeah? I've got to leave right now because she has done nothing but bring drug addicts and drunks in here," the sister shouted.

Two sheriff's deputies quickly escorted the woman from the courtroom.

In the hallway, the woman's protest continued. "I'm sick of it. My familyhas been put to trash and hell," said the woman. "My brother's innocent, and they know it. They're just looking for someone to pin it on."

Because Ferris said she felt threatened by the woman, a sheriff's deputy escorted the prosecutor to and from the courtroom when the jury returned with a verdict after deliberating for three hours.

The woman was not present when the verdict was announced, but other members of Lyba's family reacted bitterly and insisted he is not guilty.

The victim, who last week had testified tearfully with dark circles under her eyes, was not in court yesterday. Her boyfriend, however, wept when the verdict was returned.

The victim had testified that she was searching for her puppy near her home shortly after sundownon Sept. 12, 1987, when a man approached her, held an object he saidwas a gun to the back of her head, and ordered her into a wooded area near Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.

There, the woman testified, the man fondled her, performed oral sex on her, forced her to performoral sex on him, and then raped her.

The woman, now 22 and livingin Jacksonville, Fla., said her attacker wore a blue plaid shirt andsmelled of peppermint. Witnesses testified that Lyba had been wearing a similar shirt while drinking peppermint schnapps at a nearby bar before the attack.

The victim also described coming face to face with her attacker nine months later at Patapsco State Park in Howard County.

Lyba spent more than three years behind bars before being released on $50,000 bond last September, Ferris said.

Last January,an appeals court overturned Lyba's first conviction, ruling that thejudge in that first trial improperly prevented the defense lawyer from asking whether the victim had used drugs or alcohol on the night of the attack or the day she saw Lyba in the park.

Ferris said Lybareceived a sentence of life plus 25 years after his first conviction. "I'll be asking for a sentence as harsh as before," she said last night.

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