Annapolis man guilty of kidnap, sex offense

March 02, 1995|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

A 25-year-old Annapolis man admitted yesterday that he abducted a priest and his 66-year-old receptionist at knifepoint from a Glen Burnie church where the priest had just said Mass. He also admitted sexually assaulting the receptionist.

Derrick Lontaye Sellman of the 1000 block of Monroe St. pleaded guilty in Anne Arundel Circuit Court to kidnapping and a first-degree sex offense in the abduction of the Rev. Gene Nickol, 47, and his receptionist from Holy Trinity Catholic Church Aug. 13.

Sellman also pleaded guilty to assault and battery in a separate case.

Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. scheduled sentencing for April 24. Sellman could receive as much as life plus 50 years.

Alan R. Friedman, who represented Sellman, said his client had drug problems and did not plan to hurt anyone, and that he went to the church rectory looking for help.

Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Rogers, reading from a statement of facts, said:

Sellman knocked on the door of the rectory, in the 7400 block of Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., shortly after 9 a.m. Aug. 13 and asked to speak with a priest.

The receptionist, who was alone, let him in and asked him to wait in a reception room because Father Nickol was saying Mass at the church, which is next door, Ms. Rogers said, reading from a statement of facts.

According to the statement, Sellman used the rectory telephone, then approached the receptionist, who was praying in a nearby room. He prayed with her briefly, then grabbed her from behind and dragged her into the kitchen, where he put a steak knife to her throat.

Sellman forced the receptionist into the basement, where he slapped her repeatedly, knocking her glasses off her face, and held her there until Father Nickol returned to the rectory and found them huddled behind a furnace.

Sellman robbed the priest of $60 and ordered him and the receptionist into the priest's car at knifepoint, Ms. Rogers said.

Father Nickol drove around Glen Burnie for 45 minutes while Sellman held the receptionist at knifepoint in the back seat. Sellman, who did not know the area, got frustrated at the priest's driving, ordered him into the trunk of the car and told the receptionist to drive to Lothian, where she parked and he forced her to perform a sex act.

The victims escaped a short time later when the car stopped at Routes 214 and 424 in Davidsonville. Father Nickol released the trunk latch and fled on foot, which distracted Sellman and gave the receptionist a chance to flee.

Ms. Rogers said the receptionist, who was not in court yesterday, has been unable to return to work, is still in therapy and still hears ringing in her ears from being struck by Sellman.

"She was really shaken by the whole experience," Ms. Rogers said.

Mr. Friedman called the incident "a very sad case for everyone involved."

He said Sellman readily gave Father Nickol his name when he was asked and that after he knocked the receptionist's glasses off, he picked them up for her.

When arrested two days after the attack, he apologized and told police, "Just take me to the jail cell."

The assault and battery charge stemmed from a separate incident two days after the kidnapping in which Sellman choked his former girlfriend, Ms. Rogers said.

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