Teen sen­tenced to 27 years in prison for sex­ual as­sault

Broke into vic­tim’s Nan­je­moy home in De­cem­ber

Maryland Independent - - News - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @An­drew_IndyNews

A 17-year-old boy from Nan­je­moy was sen­tenced on Wed­nes­day in Charles County Cir­cuit Court for break­ing into a woman’s home and sex­u­ally as­sault­ing her in De­cem­ber, threat­en­ing to kill her if she did not com­ply.

Held with­out bond since DNA ev­i­dence linked him to the crime months af- ter the in­ci­dent, Ter­rell Shawan Car­roll was sen­tenced by Judge James West to 27 years im­pris­on­ment af­ter hear­ing ar­gu­ments from State’s At­tor­ney An­thony Cov- in­g­ton (D) and as­sis­tant pub­lic de­fender Michele Hare­wood. Car­roll had pleaded guilty to first-de­gree sex­ual of­fense in Au­gust, and un­der con­di­tions of the plea agree­ment, he was sub­ject to up to a 30-year sen­tence.

Around 8:02 p.m. on Dec. 29, deputies with the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice re­sponded to a house on the 3400 block of Port To­bacco Road, about a few miles from Car­roll’s listed ad­dress, for a re­ported bur­glary.

Upon ar­rival, po­lice made con­tact with the vic­tim who told them that she had been sex­u­ally as­saulted. She said that ear­lier in the evening she heard some­one knock on her front door, but she did not look to see who it was. Shortly af­ter that, she heard glass shat­ter. When she walked over to in­ves­ti­gate the noise, she was con­fronted by a hooded black man in her liv­ing room, who de­manded money, ac­cord­ing to charg­ing doc­u­ments.

Af­ter the vic­tim sur­ren- dered $50 in cash, “the sus­pect then threat­ened to shoot [her] un­less she per­formed [a sex act] on him,” charg­ing doc­u­ments state. The vic­tim tried to run, but the man, be­lieved to be Car­roll, al- leg­edly knocked her to the ground.

The vic­tim told po­lice that she be­lieved he had a gun, al­though she could not clearly see it. Fear­ing for her life, the woman com­plied with her as­sail- ant’s de­mands.

“The sus­pect re­peat­edly told her he was armed and would kill her if she did not com­ply,” court records state.

Cov­ing­ton be­gan the pro­ceed­ings by read- ing an im­pact state­ment writ­ten by the 50-yearold woman who Car­roll had sex­u­ally as­saulted in her home. “Be­cause of the emo­tional toll, she could not bear to be in the court­room,” he said, adding that she waited with her fam­ily in the state’s at­tor­neys of­fice.

Cov­ing­ton noted that the sen­tenc­ing guide­lines in this case had been de­ter­mined to be 10 to 18 years, though he asked for a 30-year sen­tence due to the sever­ity of the crime, the dan­ger he poses to the com­mu­nity, and his like­li­ness to be a re­peat of­fender. “The odds of this de­fen­dant reof- fend­ing are as­tro­nom­i­cally high,” Cov­ing­ton said. “… Ev­ery woman, ev­ery man who cares about a woman, this is their worst night­mare.”

He also noted that Car- roll, who has 10 un­re­lated, pend­ing bur­glary cases against him, had ad­mit­ted to in­ves­ti­ga­tors to see­ing the woman in the home prior to break­ing in, and had sought that con­fronta­tion, rather than most bur­glars who would have left to find an eas­ier tar­get.

Hare­wood pleaded with West to show Car­roll leni- ency, ask­ing for a 10-year sen­tence.

“I see some­thing in him,” Hare­wood said. “I see re­spect. I see re­morse. I see a very gullible child who is go­ing to prison. Your honor, that’s why this is touch­ing me a lit­tle bit more than nor­mal.”

“He un­der­stands what he did was wrong,” she said. “He’s a kid. At the end of the day, he’s a kid … He’s go­ing in [to prison] at a very im­pres­sion­able age. If Mr. Cov­ing­ton had his way, he will be stuck with hor­rific of­fend­ers,” adding that he needs to get men­tal health treat­ment, which he has never had a chance to get be­fore.

“He’s one of them. He is a hor­rific of­fender,” Cov­ing­ton said in re­sponse. “… He is the wrong one to be around. He was the ring­leader [of a series of bur­glar­ies in Nan­je­moy].”

Car­roll took his op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress the court be­fore West handed down his sen­tence. “I just want to apol­o­gize to her, and every­one,” he said. “I just want to turn my life around.”

“I’ve never been away from my fam­ily this long,” Car­roll said. “I’ve been think­ing about my fam­ily so much.”

“Since this case came to me, I con­sid­ered his age,” West said. “This is a bad case. I un­der­stand he is a very young per­son … There are no good out­comes to­day. It’s a fami- ly-de­stroy­ing sit­u­a­tion for at least two fam­i­lies.”

“There’s a level of plan­ning and pur­pose­ful­ness that is alarm­ing,” he con­tin­ued, not­ing that Car­roll chose to en­counter the woman.

Giv­ing him credit for time served, West handed down the 27-year sen­tence with the re­com- men­da­tion that he serve his term at the Patux­ent In­sti­tute, where he can get treat­ment through the youth pro­gram. Upon re­lease, Car­roll will have to reg­is­ter as a tier-III sex of­fender, a life­long reg­is­tra­tion.

Car­roll will re­main at the Charles County De­ten­tion Cen­ter dur­ing the ad­ju­di­ca­tion of the pend­ing bur­glary cases.

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