Man pleads guilty in sex attack Defendant shown as habitual stalker BALTIMORE COUNTY

April 16, 1993|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Staff Writer

A Towson State University student awoke to a woman's nightmare last August when she found a stranger sitting on her, punching her in the face and demanding that she perform a sexual act.

The man fled through her third-floor apartment window when the woman's 12-year-old daughter entered and screamed -- but he left fingerprints on two crystal candle-holders he had set on the ,, fire escape when he broke in.

Those fingerprints led Baltimore County police to Vincent Davis Jr., 22, of the 6600 block of Loch Raven Blvd., who was portrayed as a habitual stalker and burglar when he pleaded guilty to a sex charge yesterday.

Davis was charged with 32 offenses in five separate break-ins after police found dozens of women's underpants and bras and stolen family photographs of young women in his bedroom, according to Assistant State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger.

Mr. Davis pleaded guilty in Baltimore County Circuit Court to the most serious charge, the attempted first-degree sexual offense. The prosecution dropped 31 other counts, including assault and battery, robbery, burglary and theft.

Mr. Davis apparently had been stalking young female students in the Towson area and burglarizing their apartments, taking underwear and photographs as well as less personal but more valuable possessions such as jewelry and VCRs, Mr. Shellenberger said.

The prosecutor said that the crime spree preceded the sexual attack Aug. 27 on the older woman, who was pulled by the hair from her bed and punched in the face even before she resisted and tried to hit him with a board. The 35-year-old victim had just moved to Maryland to attend the university and has since left the area.

"This is a dangerous man," said Mr. Shellenberger, who said he will seek the maximum life sentence on June 18.

Both the victim and Mr. Davis' mother wept in the courtroom yesterday, while the defendant, a slim youthful man dressed in a sweater and tie, listened earnestly and spoke politely to the lawyers and the judge.

Defense attorney Stanley H. Needleman told Judge J. Norri Byrnes that Mr. Davis was intoxicated at the time of the crime and said he will ask for a lenient sentence.

Both attorneys asked for psychiatric evaluations of Mr. Davis, who previously was found competent to stand trial, Mr. Needleman said.

A high-school graduate who had received probation before judgment on a previous burglary charge, Mr. Davis told the judge he had been attending the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

The only change in his attitude came when Judge Byrnes asked whether he was pleading guilty "because you are in fact guilty?" There was a lengthy silence and a whispered conference with his attorney before Mr. Davis answered simply, "Yeah."

After the attack and arrest, county police combed through burglary reports in the Towson area and tried to match them with the recovered photographs of the women and other property, which included 45 pairs of underpants and 12 bras, the prosecutor said.

They linked these to four burglaries of apartments, shared by women in their early 20s near the county library in Towson, from July 10 to Aug. 27, he said. One break-in occurred the night before the sexual attack at the apartment just below the victim, while the three occupants were out.

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