65-year sentence imposed on man, 28, in brutal assault

Attacker's own physical, mental abuse warrants treatment, judge agrees

`This is a sick individual'

April 04, 2003|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

A 28-year-old man whose brutal attack on a teen-age girl last summer was stopped by an officer searching for the source of screams was sentenced yesterday to 65 years in prison.

Howard Circuit Judge Lenore R. Gelfman said Malcolm Scott's troubled childhood deserves some compassion, but that his actions the night he sexually assaulted and stabbed the 17-year-old girl in woods off the 5600 block of Columbia Road were "extraordinarily violent." Gelfman imposed a 100-year sentence for attempted murder and rape convictions, suspending 35 years.

"This act was a cold and cruel act," she said. She called the victim, who has since turned 18, "a person of great courage" and said she was disturbed by Scott's acknowledged "animosity" toward women.

Scott, who was on probation at the time of the offense for an attempted robbery conviction, must serve at least half his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

The sentencing came at the end of an emotional hearing that detailed the abuse heaped on Scott as a child and his hatred of women. Scott told a court-ordered evaluator that he fantasizes about the incident and that violence is an "aphrodisiac" that is "strongest when it's against women," said prosecutor Lisa Brown.

"This is a sick individual. This is a man who must be removed from society and put away," she said.

It also came after a plea for help from Scott, who thrust out his left arm to show prosecutors the scars there and said his parents "taught me to hate."

Scott wants to be rid of those feelings - "to have them exorcised from him," said his lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Louis P. Willemin, who asked Gelfman to recommend that Scott be placed at Patuxent Institution, a state prison with mental health treatment programs. Gelfman agreed.

Still, Scott said he "accepts full responsibility" for what he did to the girl.

"What happened happened, and it was a pretty heinous event," he said, his voice matter-of-fact. " ... I ruined this woman's life. Period. And there's nothing I can do to change it."

As Scott spoke, the teen sat quietly, a grim look on her face. She later declined to comment. The Sun does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The girl had met Scott only hours before the early-morning attack June 25 through a friend who called him and one of his friends "sweethearts," according to the teen's statement to police.

The victim told police she became uncomfortable around Scott and left her friend's apartment, but he followed her to her car, grabbed her from behind and stabbed her twice in the chest when she screamed, prosecutors said.

He dragged her into the woods where he beat her, threatened to kill her and sexually assaulted her, the teen told police. In her statement, she detailed her attempts to save herself - twisting Scott's genitals, clawing at his eyes and stalling him as he tried to walk her farther into the woods.

Scott was sexually assulting her and his hands were around her throat when police Pfc. Patrick Eckley and his canine partner, Ben, found them, the officer said recently. Ben bit Scott when he tried to run.

Willemin said there was no "excuse" for Scott's actions, but that details of his rough childhood might at least help explain "how a person finds himself to be Mr. Scott."

Social service records show that Scott was sexually and physically abused by his relatives and placed in various institutions and foster homes as a child, Willemin said.

"The only hope he has for himself as a human being is to have some help ... to understand and to fight the demons that are occurring within him," Willemin said.

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