Attacker marries his victim

Man pleads guilty, says, `I do' from jail


July 25, 2000|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

A man jailed in February on charges of abducting and assaulting a Hampstead teen-ager pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman - now his wife - and was sentenced to time served at the Carroll County Detention Center.

After a five-day manhunt, William T. Parrish III, 19, of no fixed address was arrested Feb. 18 in central Florida and extradited to Maryland on charges including auto theft, false imprisonment and assault upon Allison M. Zgorski, now 19, from her home on Golf View Lane in Hampstead.

Her parents had called police Feb. 13 after she failed to return from a date the previous evening with Parrish, according to Hampstead police. Days later, she called authorities in Volusia County, between Daytona Beach and Orlando, Fla.

Deputy State's Attorney Tracey A. Gilmore said the woman at the time identified Parrish as the assailant who struck her in the head and right eye, requiring stitches.

Parrish and Zgorski were married May 10, while he was in jail on the charges.

The victim changed her story about being kidnapped before the case was taken to the grand jury, saying that she had gone voluntarily to Florida, Gilmore said. Parrish was charged with first- and second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property, a cellular telephone and a mirror.

Although a spouse may be compelled to testify in some cases, the prosecutor said, "I did not feel that she was compellable."

Carroll County Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck imposed a two-year suspended sentence dating from Parrish's incarceration.

The judge had the victim stand up in the courtroom, to tell him that she was satisfied with the plea agreement, and set additional conditions of probation for Parrish that include a psychiatric evaluation, and counseling for domestic violence and anger management.

Parrish, a high-school drop-out, is on probation for a nondomestic first-degree assault conviction in Baltimore County, and yesterday's guilty plea probably will violate that probation, said his defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Janette E. DeBoissiere.

A small man with shaved head and baggy clothes, Parrish smiled and spoke to his wife and family, but said little in court other than "Yes, sir" and "No, sir" to the judge, as he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The judge explained later that Maryland law for centuries made it impossible to force one spouse to testify against the other. Now, however, a spouse who files charges may claim the right not to testify only one time. If another case exists, the spouse can be compelled to testify under threat of contempt of court charges.

"The statute has helped," Beck said. "We see so many police officers trying to do their jobs. They get frustrated."

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