City man charged in strangling of Ill. college student

27-year-old had twice been imprisoned in Md. for sexual assault in two incidents

December 07, 2006

A Baltimore man who has twice been imprisoned in Maryland - including for rape when he was 15 years old - was arraigned yesterday on charges that he strangled a college student in Illinois, according to authorities.

Prosecutors charged Emmett Lindsay, 27, with first-degree murder in the killing of Amy Bracht, an 18-year-old education major at Southwestern Illinois College, according to the St. Clair County, Ill., Sheriff's Department.

The department's chief investigator, Lt. Steve Johnson, said Bracht's boyfriend found her body in her off-campus apartment Nov. 28.

Johnson would not indicate whether the victim had been sexually assaulted, but he said that lab tests were being conducted. He said Bracht's purse, keys and cell phone were missing, and that the phone has been recovered.

Johnson said Bracht and Lindsay knew each other through a mutual friend. Lindsay was arrested Sunday and is being held on $2.5 million bail, Johnson said. His first court appearance was yesterday.

The lieutenant said that Lindsay apparently moved to Belleville, Ill., to live with his parents after getting out of prison in Maryland in 2004 on charges that stemmed from an attack in 2002.

He was charged with raping two women in Baltimore after the women had responded to an adult telephone chat-line ad published in the City Paper, according to a statement of charges filed in court by police.

Charging documents say that Lindsay picked up the women at a home March 10, 2002, and drove them to a rowhouse in the 4200 block of Liberty Heights Ave.

The women at first told police they were raped at gunpoint in a bathroom by Lindsay and other men. But Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for the city state's attorney's office, said that one woman later told police that she and her friend had agreed to have sex with Lindsay in exchange for money, and that the dispute occurred when Lindsay got upset and took his money back.

Burns said a rape case could not be sustained because the sex was consensual and the victim had not initially disclosed the prostitution issue to police, raising concerns about her credibility. The victim also refused to meet with prosecutors until the night before the trial, Burns said.

As a result, prosecutors accepted in 2003 an agreement in which Lindsay pleaded guilty to reduced charges of second-degree assault and was sentenced to eight years in prison, with all but six years, 10 months and 19 days suspended.

A spokesman for the Maryland Department of Corrections, George Gregory, said that in 1994 Lindsay, then 15 years old, was convicted as an adult on a rape charge and served five years in prison.

That incident occurred in Baltimore County. No details were available yesterday.

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