Rapist is sentenced to 25-year term

October 14, 1994|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Sun Staff Writer

A Overlea man who abducted and raped his estranged wife in March, holding her captive for a weekend at gunpoint in an unused city garage, received a 25-year-prison term Wednesday in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

John Allen Craig II, 25, of the 400 block of Marjeff Place, Overlea, wept as he asked for a second chance -- lamenting his lost marriage, saying he hadn't seen his three children in seven months and talking of suicide.

Assistant State's Attorney Stephen Bailey, who asked for a sentence within the state's 55- to 85-year guidelines for the crimes, called witnesses Wednesday to testify that Craig had threatened from jail to kill anyone who had him sent to prison. He also presented testimony that Craig had stabbed his wife in the leg in January and called him "an extremely dangerous individual."

A jury found Craig guilty on Aug. 10 of kidnapping, rape, a sexual offense and false imprisonment. Jennifer Craig, whose children were 1, 5 and 8 at the time, said later that she was satisfied with the sentence.

The Sun normally does not use rape victims' names, but Mrs. Craig consented to have hers appear in this article.

She left her husband after the January stabbing, but according to the trial testimony, he repeatedly came to her home in Dundalk and disconnected the telephone line from the outside.

That's what he did on March 17 as she was talking to a friend. When Mrs. Craig came outside to reconnect the phone, he put a knife or razor to her throat, the prosecutor said.

Armed with a rifle, he took her to an unused garage at Belair Road and Sinclair Lane and held her until Sunday afternoon, when he dropped her off near her home.

Defense attorney Alan Kreshtool said Craig admits the kidnapping but still believes the sexual acts were consensual, even though he had a gun.

L His prior criminal record consisted of one bad-check charge.

Judge Dana M. Levitz, a chairman of the Maryland's sentencing guidelines review committee, said, "This is one of the instances where the guidelines are, well, not accurate," because the offenses arose from a single event.

"That being said," he continued, "I don't care whether it's domestic or nondomestic. When someone forces someone at rifle-point from the safety of home, what conceivable difference does it make whether it's one's family or not?"

As for Craig's suicide threats, he said, "If Mr. Craig decides to take his life, there's little I can do, other than take precautions. You're not not going to be held responsible because you are suicidal. You'll have to make a decision whether or not for the first time, apparently, in your adult life, you decide to be an adult."

Raising his voice, the judge told Craig his crime was worse than if the victim were a stranger.

"You took your children's mother," he said. "What did they feel? Can you imagine?"

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