Rape sentence reduced from life to 38 years

Eiseman was convicted after a DNA match in state's database

May 05, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The Anne Arundel Circuit Court will shorten to 38 years the life sentence given to a man convicted of rape in what police described as the first cold-case DNA match within the Maryland genetic database.

In 2001, Robert M. Eiseman was weeks from being paroled from a 20-year sentence for attempted murder and attempted second-degree sex offense in Montgomery County when the DNA database linked him to a 1988 rape in Cape St. Claire. That attack took place two months before the crime in Montgomery County.

A three-judge panel will meet June 15 to formally reduce Eiseman's sentence in the Cape St. Claire rape, which he had asked the judges to review.

In their written opinion last month, two of three Circuit Court judges credited Eiseman for being an exemplary prisoner while he was incarcerated for the Montgomery County attack -- doing community service, working toward rehabilitation and earning a college degree while in prison.

The pending reduction has angered the Cape St. Claire victim, who was attacked in the front yard of her home.

She said, "There is no doubt in my mind that his next victim might have ended up dead" because of the escalating violence of the attacks. She finds it disturbing that the majority of the panel is crediting Eiseman with time served on his other conviction.

The Sun does not identify victims of sexual assault.

State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee said he, too, is disappointed because he considers Eiseman a serial sex offender.

But Deane A. Shure, Eiseman's attorney, said he is "glad that the panel saw fit to reduce the sentence. Having said that, I was hoping that the sentence would be reduced more substantially."

He said Eiseman, 43, worked hard to rehabilitate himself and help others in prison.

Last year, Circuit Judge Pamela L. North sentenced Eiseman to life because she considered Eiseman a dangerous repeat offender.

The majority of the three-judge panel favored a sentence of life with all but 38 years suspended. State sentencing guidelines were 33 to 53 years, and a pre-sentence investigation recommended 53 years.

Judges Philip T. Caroom and Michael E. Loney wrote that Eiseman should serve 53 years, but reasoned that he already has served 15 years in the two assaults.

Judge Ronald A. Silkworth wrote that he found North's sentence appropriate.

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