Police say man raped one woman hours before killing another WEST COUNTY--Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

November 06, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

Several hours before Steven Gregory Anderson strangled a Crofton woman behind the community library more than two years ago, he broke into a nearby home and raped a different woman, county police charged yesterday.

Anderson, 32, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in January for the slaying of Gwyn Dixon Criswell, a computer systems analyst with the Navy Department and the mother of two.

Yesterday, Anne Arundel County police charged him with rape, robbery and burglary in connection with the break-in at the town house in Crofton Mews -- one of two rapes and a murder on a Sunday morning that shocked the small community.

State's Attorney Frank Weathersbee said yesterday that his office will review the case, but may not prosecute because the suspect already is sentenced to life imprisonment at the Patuxent Institute in Jessup.

Mr. Weathersbee added that the cost of going to court may not be justified and there may not be any reason to put the alleged victim through a public trial.

The rape, which occurred in the 1400 block of Mara Vista Court, was the second attack in Crofton Mews that Sunday, Sept. 16, 1990.

In the first case, a 39-year-old woman was raped by a man who followed her home from a bar, police said. Stanley Glenwood Prout, then 29, tied the woman up and dragged her into the basement before assaulting her.

Mr. Prout was sentenced to 18 years in prison last year.

The rape Anderson is charged with occurred within minutes of the murder in the same community.

Police believe Anderson broke in to the 24-year-old woman's home through a kitchen window and woke up the victim, who was alone.

After threatening her with a knife, police believe he took money and forced her into the living room, where he raped her. Police said he then bound the woman with a piece of cord before running away.

A few hours later, Anderson met Mrs. Criswell, 41, who was running bank and library errands at the time she was abducted.

Mrs. Criswell's body was found the following day. Prosecutors said she had been raped and strangled. The strap of a canvas bag she used to carry library books was around her neck.

Anderson pleaded guilty to the murder in January and was sentenced to life without parole by Circuit Judge H. Chester Goudy. Prosecutors had asked for the death penalty.

Police said yesterday that Anderson was a suspect in the rape shortly after it occurred, but they waited for confirmation from a genetic lab test.

Capt. Michael P. Fitzgibbons, head of the criminal investigation division, said the lab report was not expedited since Anderson was already in jail.

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