Man gets 50-year term for three rapes in city

August 21, 2007|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,Sun reporter

A serial rapist who was convicted of one attack and pleaded guilty to three others, each during daytime hours and in different neighborhoods of Baltimore, was sentenced yesterday to 50 years in prison.

Yesterday, Erskine Jones, 31, of the 400 block of E. Eager St., admitted raping three girls, ages 14, 16 and 17, from December 2003 to August 2004. DNA evidence linked Jones to the attacks long after they occurred.

Circuit Judge Lynn K. Stewart accepted the guilty plea to three counts of rape. Jones was convicted this spring of a fourth rape, of a 19-year-old in May 2003 in Bolton Hill. In that case, Circuit Judge David Ross sentenced Jones to 35 years in prison.

He is to serve the terms at the same time. As part of his plea deal, two additional rape cases were dropped, prosecutors said.

Court records show that Jones tried to kill someone in 1996. He pleaded guilty in January 1997 to attempted murder and using a handgun in the commission of a crime. Jones was sentenced by Circuit Judge Thomas Waxter to four years for the attempted murder and three years for the weapons violation.

After his release from prison, Jones was charged in 2002 with violating probation. The basis of the accused violation was unclear from court records. That case was dismissed in August 2003 -- two months after the first rape in which he was accused.

A 19-year-old told police May 17, 2003, that a man she later identified as Jones approached her late the night before at a bus stop in the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Ave., according to charging documents. He persuaded her to take the subway, and they walked to Jordan and Dolphin streets. Once there, the documents say, Jones forced the woman to the ground, told her he had a gun and raped her.

He was not charged until December 2004, after DNA linked him with the crime. A city jury convicted him in March.

In the meantime, other attacks occurred.

A 14-year-old told police that she was walking in the 2000 block of St. Paul St. at 4 p.m. Dec. 5, 2003, when someone grabbed her from behind and pulled her into a garage off a nearby alley, charging documents say.

The man put a gun to the girl's head, she screamed as the assault began and he ran away, the documents say. DNA collected from the girl's body was matched years later to Jones, the documents say.

At 5 a.m. May 30, 2004, a 16-year-old was sitting on her front steps when a man grabbed her and pulled her into an alley near the 300 block of E. 20th St., charging documents say.

He told her not to scream because he had a gun with a silencer, the documents say. The case went cold, but a detective reviewed it in January 2006 and found that DNA evidence that had been saved matched Jones.

At noon Aug. 23, 2004, a 17-year-old at a city bus stop was pulled behind Frederick Douglass High School on Gwynns Falls Parkway by a man who showed her a handgun, charging documents say.

julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

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