Man gets life terms for attacking 2 girls Charges included sexual offenses BALTIMORE CITY

June 29, 1993|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff Writer

A 36-year-old man was sentenced yesterday to six consecutive life terms in prison for sexually assaulting and attempting to murder two young girls last year in their East Baltimore home.

In handing down the maximum sentence on all counts to David M. Pierce, Baltimore Circuit Judge Kenneth Lavon Johnson said, "My sentence today is to make sure another child in this city or in this state or in this country or, for that matter, in this world does not have to go through what these young children went through."

Pierce, in a wheelchair because of wounds received in a prison attack, did not admit his guilt before being sentenced, but instead complained that he had not received a fair trial. He said his "investigation" had turned up discrepancies in the case against him and that someone had tampered with some of the physical evidence.

"I'm asking for mercy, for this judge to give me a new trial," he said.

Pierce's lawyer, Jerome Bivens, said psychiatric tests showed his client has a "very severe personality disorder." He said Pierce, when interviewed by a psychiatrist last year, said he was sexually abused as a child and admitted to being sexually attracted to young girls.

"And, with all due respect to my client, he is a habitual liar," Mr. Bivens said.

Though he did not acknowledge guilt yesterday, Pierce admitted to the psychiatrist his involvement in the attack, the lawyer said.

A jury deliberated for two hours April 26 before finding Pierce guilty on all charges in the June 11, 1992, attack on a 7-year-old girl and her 11-year-old sister. He was convicted of two counts of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree rape and three first-degree sexual offenses. The jury also found Pierce guilty of two weapons charges and two counts of assault and battery.

The victims are daughters of a female correctional officer who grew up in the same neighborhood as Pierce and became reacquainted with him while he was in prison, according to trial testimony.

Pierce had been paroled three months before the attack after serving less than seven years of a 10-year sentence for raping a young woman, according to court records and correctional officials.

While awaiting trial in the Baltimore City Detention Center in the assault on the correctional officer's daughters, he was critically wounded when a fellow inmate stabbed him in the back with a homemade shank.

During the trial, the girls identified Pierce as the man who asked to use the telephone while they were home alone at their Edison Highway house and, once inside, ordered them at knifepoint to disrobe.

The older sister, now 12, testified that Pierce raped her, forced her to perform a sex act, stabbed her twice in the chest and bit her face. Pierce stabbed the younger girl twice and bit her, according to testimony.

Police, alerted by a jogger who saw a naked girl run screaming into a nearby alley and a man emerging from the house carrying a knife, arrested Pierce at his home in the 1400 block of N. Decker Ave. shortly after the incident.

The girls testified that their mother was at a nearby tavern at the time of the attack. Pierce did not testify.

Judge Johnson sentenced Pierce to consecutive life terms on the attempted murder, first-degree rape and first-degree sexual offense convictions. He also sentenced Pierce to consecutive 20-year sentences for the two battery convictions and six years for the weapons convictions.

After the verdict was announced, prosecutor Jan M. Alexander called it "the most horrible case" he had seen in his four years in the sex offense unit of the city state's attorney's office. "It very easily could have been a murder case instead of an attempted murder case," he said, noting that the stab wounds narrowly missed vital organs.

The victims' mother said yesterday, "I just thank the Lord my daughters were spared and he got what he deserved and won't be able to do this to anybody else."

Mr. Alexander said Pierce received a "fair sentence in light of his past record and the facts of the case." He said Pierce has served time for assault with intent to murder and attempted burglary in 1976, and for second-degree rape in 1982.

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