Victim details 'methodical' sexual assault

April 06, 1994|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Sun Staff Writer

A Guilford woman testified in Howard Circuit Court yesterday about how a man with a 30-year history of sexual assaults forced his way into her home and attacked her last summer.

The woman testified in the case of Thurman Alexander Moore, a 47-year-old Guilford man who has pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible by reason of insanity for the Aug. 31 incident.

"He seemed very methodical," said the woman, whose name will not be published. "He didn't seem frenzied. He was simply striking me and telling me to shut up."

Moore, of the 9400 block of Guilford Road, was released from prison two weeks before the assault after serving most of a 25-year sentence for kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old Columbia girl in 1974.

Moore, whose criminal record dates back to 1960, has pleaded guilty to a first-degree sexual offense, a third-degree sexual offense and a daytime housebreaking charge in the current case.

A Baltimore clinical psychologist testified on Moore's behalf yesterday, saying the man suffers from several uncontrollable sexual and personality disorders that led him to attack the 30-year-old woman.

Judge Cornelius Sybert Jr. must determine whether Moore is criminally responsible for the incident. Moore could be sentenced to life in prison if found criminally responsible. Otherwise, he could be held at a mental institution until found not to be a threat to himself or others.

Testimony in the case continues today.

The victim testified that Moore came to her house, asking to use her telephone because his car had broken down nearby. The woman went to the door with her 7-month-old son.

Moore repeatedly apologized for startling her, the woman said. "He said, 'You don't need to be frightened of me. I just need to use the phone,' " she testified.

After getting a name and telephone number from Moore, the woman said, she turned to go into her house and make the call and Moore grabbed her from behind.

The woman said she had no choice but to go into the house with Moore because he said he had a gun. Once inside, Moore ordered the woman to put her son down, she said.

Moore forced the woman to the floor, ripped off her pants and punched her in the face, she testified. She said every time she tried to get away or begged Moore to stop, he hit her.

The attack ended when the operator of a nearby barbecue stand and two women heard her cries for help and rescued her. They held Moore until police arrived.

In other testimony yesterday, Lawrence Donner, a clinical psychologist from Baltimore who examined Moore at the request of the defense, testified that Moore thought the victim was interested in him.

"He thought that the victim wanted him to make overtures to her," said Dr. Donner, referring to statements in police reports on the incident. "It's a complete misconception."

Dr. Donner testified that he believes Moore knew his actions were wrong but could not control himself. Moore "is a severely disturbed individual," he said.

Dr. Donner testified that he diagnosed Moore as having schizo-affective disorder -- a combination of depression, delusions and schizophrenia. The psychologist said he believes

Moore also suffers from persecutory delusions and a personality disorder.

Under cross-examination by the prosecution, Dr. Donner noted that many of the disorders he found were not diagnosed in previous psychiatric evaluations of Moore.

He noted that Moore was found to be sane or criminally responsible for three other sexual attacks that date back to 1960, when Moore was 14 and was sentenced to a two-year prison term at the Hagerstown Correctional Institution.

Dr. Donner said many reports on Moore refer to the disorders he found but that officials never formally diagnosed them.

"There was report after report that he was a danger to women," Dr. Donner said. "It smacks you in the face. . . . That diagnosis should have been made long ago."

Calling Moore a "time bomb," Dr. Donner criticized the way Moore was released from the Patuxent Institution, the state's primary rehabilitation prison in Jessup, under Maryland's mandatory-release program.

The psychologist noted that Moore was released without a job or referrals for further psychiatric treatment, and with only a 30-day supply of medication and no money to pay for additional prescriptions.

He said Moore refused to attend some state Parole Commission hearings held to determine whether he should be released from prison.

"He knows he can't control himself," Dr. Donner said. "He knows he can't handle the outside."

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