Man gets 2 life terms in rapes of mother, teen

June 27, 1996|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A 26-year-old man was sentenced yesterday to two consecutive life terms for breaking into a home near Annapolis, raping a woman and tying her up, and then raping her teen-age daughter.

In sentencing Terry O'Neil Mosby, Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Pamela L. North said that forcing the mother to listen to her daughter's cries added to the brutality of the Aug. 21, 1995, attack.

"To hear your daughter being raped and not be able to help her, that just makes this extremely terrible," North told Mosby before pronouncing sentence.

The mother, 51, was near tears as she sat through the hourlong hearing. She declined to comment but hugged the prosecutor after the court proceedings, clearly relieved at the sentence.

"It means he'll be in prison for the rest of his life," said Assistant State's Attorney Cynthia M. Ferris.

Ferris said Mosby had threatened to kill both victims during the rapes if they reported the attack to the police.

On May 3, a jury convicted Mosby, who grew up in Annapolis but has no fixed address, of two counts of first-degree rape after a four-day trial in which DNA evidence linked him to both assaults.

Testimony showed that Mosby broke in through a kitchen window of the victims' home on an isolated tract off Severn Grove Road shortly after midnight. The mother, who had fallen asleep watching television, was raped on a living room couch. Her 14-year-old daughter was raped on the bed in a nearby bedroom.

The victims, tied up with torn-up washcloths and electrical cords, broke free after Mosby fled and spent the rest of the night huddled together on the couch, according to testimony.

They had no car and no telephone, and had to walk two miles to Annapolis Mall, where they caught a bus to a relative's house and called police.

Ferris said that Mosby dropped out of Annapolis Senior High School, where he had been friends with the woman's 26-year-old son. The son was not living in the home at the time of the attack.

Mosby wore a cloth mask that covered his face and a long-sleeve shirts and slacks that covered his arms and his legs, but the victims recognized his voice, according to testimony.

Mosby said yesterday that he was high on PCP at the time and did not remember the attacks.

"I can't believe none of this is going on really," he told the judge.

Assistant Public Defender Robert Waldman, Mosby's lawyer, said his client confessed to police, which shows some acceptance of responsibility.

"That means he is not entirely anti-social," Waldman said. "He is not without some merit."

Ferris said Mosby has a 14-year history of criminal convictions, including 11 burglaries committed as a juvenile and at least six committed as an adult. He had been released from jail about six weeks before the rapes, after serving an 18-month sentence for a 1992 burglary conviction, she said.

Ferris, a 20-year prosecutor who heads the office's sex crimes unit, said she sometimes feels sympathy at sentencing for defendants who are sorry for what they've done or who have had trouble with alcohol, drugs or mental illness.

But she said she saw none of that in Mosby's case. "I didn't see any remorse," Ferris said. "I didn't hear any confession. It's hard to hear those facts and not just feel tremendous sympathy for what the victims went through."

Pub Date: 6/27/96

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