Man gets life plus 93 years in Tuxedo Park rape, robbery

Woman says 2007 incident left her family 'traumatized'

March 06, 2010|By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

A Baltimore man convicted of raping a 59-year-old woman at gunpoint in 2007 in her Tuxedo Park home, a crime that terrorized the community, was sentenced Friday to life plus 93 years in prison.

"The only appropriate sentence is life," said Baltimore Circuit Judge John A. Howard, who quoted from the opening of the "Law & Order" television series about sexual crimes being "especially heinous."

"If there's a case that demonstrates the truth of that statement," he said, "it is this case."

A jury found Roger L. Ervin, 48, of the 3100 block of Oakley Ave. guilty on nine counts in December, including rape, assault, armed robbery and burglary, for forcing his way into the woman's home Aug. 23, 2007, as she was unpacking groceries and preparing dinner.

He threw the woman against the stairs, put her in a headlock and broke two vertebrae, temporarily paralyzing her, then raped her.

She was hospitalized, went through surgeries and had to move in with a son for five months while she recuperated. She has permanent numbness in her hands and feet from her injuries and still sees a therapist to deal with the "horrible nightmare."

"My family was traumatized," the woman said, reading from a prepared statement. "I went from feeling vital and healthy ... to a totally dependent woman."

She asked that Ervin be put away for the rest of his life so he couldn't "inflict such brutality" on anyone else.

The Baltimore Sun does not name victims of sexual crimes.

"The facts of this case are egregious," said Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer McAllister, adding that a life term was the only way to "ensure public safety."

Ervin's attorney, Margaret Mead, had initially sought a new trial, then asked for a life sentence with all but 15 or 20 years suspended after the judge denied the first request.

Ervin addressed the court, saying he was a faithful Muslim who had never thought of hurting anyone. He said his job paid $70,000 a year and that he had no reason to rob her.

Ervin was convicted of burglary in 1985 and was released in 2003.

"I haven't done anything to anyone in 25 years," he said. "I'm telling you, I would never rape, beat no woman."

After the victim picked an innocent man, 20, from a photo array, Ervin was identified through DNA. He looked like a sketch drawn from the victim's description.

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