A man who admitted that he tried to rape a high school student when she passed his Odenton backyard on her way to the school bus was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison.
The victim softly wept as Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul A. Hackner ordered a prison term above state guidelines for Jameson Bryan Knott, 20, whom he described as having "significant, longstanding mental health problems."
"The sentence is appropriate," Assistant State's Attorney Sandra F. Howell said afterward. She had sought a prison term above the guidelines of 10 to 18 years, citing Knott's history and the severity of the crime.
Hackner's sentence was life in prison with all but the 20 years suspended plus five years of probation. He was also ordered to pay $2,000 for the 19-year-old's unreimbursed medical expenses.
Over Howell's objection, Hackner agreed with Assistant Public Defender Stanley W. Robbins' request that the judge recommend that prison officials consider placing Knott in a program at Patuxent Institution for treatment. Knott had no previous criminal record, but had been treated for mental health issues until shortly before the Sept. 10, 2009, attack, Howell said.
"What we have is a pattern of deviant sexual behavior," Howell said, saying Knott had repeatedly viewed pornography on school and library computers, kept similar material, and acted on impulse.
Robbins agreed that Knott poses a threat, and said he had a "spotty" history of treatment for issues that date back to the age of four. An evaluation at the defense's request found him to be severely emotionally disturbed.
Knott said nothing at the hearing. He will have to serve at least half his sentence.
In June, Knott pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree rape.
The victim, from China, had been in the United States for a year when she was grabbed from behind at 6:45 a.m. She sniffled audibly as Howell described the "calculated plan," beating and attempted sexual assault, while an interpreter explained the proceedings to her family.
At the time, the attack was one of several unrelated reports in the county of students' being watched, approached or assaulted on the way to or from school.