50-year sentence for Crofton teen convicted of raping child

Girl, 7, lured from playground and assaulted

April 15, 2010|By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun

A Crofton teenager was sentenced to 50 years in prison Thursday for raping a 7-year-old girl, in an attack that outraged a suburban Anne Arundel County community.

Circuit Judge William C. Mulford II told David B. Raszewski that his actions were "beyond disturbing" and that there was "no appropriate sentence" to rectify the damage to the young girl and her family. "It approaches a level of depravity which shocks this court," Mulford said. "It's horrific."

The sentence, life in prison with all but five decades suspended, was above state sentencing guidelines of 15 to 25 years.

Raszewski pleaded guilty on Dec. 8 to first-degree rape in the March 29, 2009, attack on the girl, who was at a playground with her brother and a baby sitter. The sitter took the girl's brother to her house nearby to use the bathroom, leaving the girl unsupervised at the playground. Raszewski, a neighbor of the sitter, quickly approached the child and asked her to help him move furniture, according to prosecutors. Once they were inside the house, Raszewski, who was 17 at the time, sexually assaulted her.

Before allowing her to leave, Raszewski gave her $3 and told her not to tell anyone. The girl ran back to her sitter's house and tearfully recounted the attack. She later gave police such detailed information, prosecutors said, that officers were able to arrest Raszewski the same day.

Assistant State's Attorney Sandra Howell had requested a life sentence but said later she was satisfied that the teenager received a "significant sentence."

"I doesn't get worse than this," Howell said of the rape. "She is truly an amazing little girl and the absolute hero in this case. She brought a serious child sex offender to justice."

Before sentencing, Raszewski, wearing green jail clothing, spoke briefly, saying: "I'm sorry to the family. … I'll take whatever you give me."

Defense attorney James Crawford Jr. argued that Raszewski should receive a "blended sentence" combining treatment in a juvenile facility with incarceration in an adult prison. Last year, Crawford sought unsuccessfully to have Raszewski tried in a juvenile court, where he could have been held only until he was 21.

Crawford said after the hearing that he was disappointed his client would be "warehoused" in prison and would not receive sufficient treatment. Crawford argued that the judge should consider a report from a defense-hired psychologist, who diagnosed Raszewski with autism.

"I think we as a public need to examine how we're going to deal with these cases because they don't seem to be going away," Crawford said, referring to juvenile sex offenders.

The victim's mother addressed the court, saying that she felt guilty for working an extra hour on the day of the attack and leaving her children with the sitter. The girl's father did not attend the hearing, too distraught to listen to the graphic details, she said.

"I kick myself over and over," she said, adding that Raszewski "has corrupted a poor, innocent child."

The mother said her daughter still struggles with effects from the attack.

"Sometime's she's so quiet, I ask her, ‘Why are you so quiet?' " the mother said.

" ‘The bad man, mommy,' " the woman said her child replies.

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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