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Rapist sentenced to 75 years

July 31, 1998

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

After a tearful statement Thursday by one victim of convicted serial rapist Donald Lee Walls Jr., Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell sentenced the 28-year-old Big Cove Tannery, Pa., man to 75 years in prison for two of those crimes.

"I'm sorry I'm in this position again," Walls said. "I would like to see society again while I'm a reasonably young man."

But McDowell's heavy sentence reflected his outrage that Walls was "prowling the streets" of Washington County when he raped his victims last year.

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Walls was sentenced to 50 years in prison for first-degree rape, 15 more years for kidnapping and an additional 10 years for robbing a Hagerstown woman on Feb. 15, 1997.

In that incident, the victim testified at trial that she left a tavern on foot after an argument with her boyfriend. She said she was abducted at gunpoint as she walked along U.S. 40 west of Hagerstown and then raped and robbed by Walls, who was alone in a van.

"I hope he can find some peace with himself," that victim said in court Thursday.

Fighting back her emotions, the victim of the Feb. 19, 1997, attack said what upset her most was Walls' lack of remorse.

"He looked at me this morning and laughed," she said. "He's so cold."

Walls got a concurrent 20-year sentence for that second rape four days later.

In the Feb. 19, 1997, case, the victim told Hagerstown City Police she was picked up in Hagerstown by a man driving a van. She admitted to police that she agreed to perform a sexual act for money.

But the victim also told police the man drove out Salem Avenue and parked, then beat her, put a gun to her head and forced her to have sexual intercourse, taking back the money he'd paid her earlier.

He told her no one would care if he shot her because she was only a prostitute, said Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Gina Circincion at the trial last spring.

"This brought back a lot of painful childhood memories," the victim said. "He had no right to do what he did to me and those other women."

Defense attorney Thomas Barst said Walls started drinking at age 12 and using drugs at 13. Since he turned 18, Walls has been in jail all but three of the last 10 years.

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