Teen sentenced to 27 years in prison for sexual assault
Broke into victim’s Nanjemoy home in December
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.