Columbia man gets 2 years for raping his wife

April 21, 1994|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Sun Staff Writer

A Columbia man was sentenced to two years in prison yesterday after accepting a plea agreement in Howard Circuit Court for the rape last September of the woman who was then his wife.

The 34-year-old man pleaded guilty to second-degree rape before Judge Cornelius Sybert Jr. after withdrawing his initial plea of not criminally responsible by reason of insanity.

The Sun is not publishing the name of the man to protect the identity of the victim. The woman was granted a divorce in Howard Circuit Court last month, after a 3 1/2 -year marriage.

Judge Sybert sentenced the man to seven years in prison, with all but two years of the term suspended. Second-degree rape carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

After his release from prison, the man must complete 42 months of supervised probation. He also must seek alcohol, drug and psychiatric counseling.

In addition, the man must stay away from the woman, her two children from a previous marriage and her neighborhood in the Kings Contrivance Village of Columbia.

Judge Sybert warned the man that if he does not meet the terms of his probation, the judge will order him to serve the remaining five years of the prison term.

"This is not a threat, it's a promise to you," the judge told the man.

As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution dropped additional charges of first-degree rape, assault, battery and a weapons violation for the Sept. 21 incident.

The man could have been sentenced to life in prison had he been convicted of all the charges.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Kate O'Donnell said the victim approved the terms of the plea agreement. Ms. O'Donnell explained that the woman was more concerned about having no contact with the man than with seeing him receive a lengthy jail term.

In the incident, the man called the woman, then his wife and separated from him, and asked to borrow suitcases because he was leaving town, Ms. O'Donnell said. The woman took the suitcases to the man, who lived a short distance away from her townhouse.

As the woman turned to leave the man's house, he pointed a gun at her and told her he wanted to have intercourse with her, Ms. O'Donnell said. The woman refused, but he restrained her and forced her to have intercourse.

The woman later escaped from the house and ran to the home of a neighbor, who called police, Ms. O'Donnell said.

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