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Man pleads guilty to third-degree sex offense

September 17, 1999

A reluctant victim prompted prosecutors to accept a plea of guilty to a third-degree sex offense Thursday from a former New York man charged with raping a woman Feb. 12 in a downtown Hagerstown apartment.

William Sherman Randall, 26, who lived in the 100 block of South Prospect Street at the time of the crime, was sentenced to 18 months in jail, according to Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Bill Hayden.

The victim didn't show up Thursday for the hearing.

A first-degree rape charge was dropped, according to Washington County Circuit Court records.

Judge Donald Beachley sentenced Randall to 10 years but suspended all but the 18 months. Randall will get credit for the time he spent in jail since February.

Probation was set at three years with attendance in the Jail Substance Abuse Program authorized.

The assault occurred Feb. 12 in an East Baltimore Street apartment.

Based on a description of the assailant given by the victim, police stopped Randall two blocks from the apartment.

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The officer noticed he was bleeding from his hand and that he was wearing his pants inside out.

The woman, who received treatment at Washington County Hospital, later identified Randall as her assailant, police said.

- Marlo Barnhart

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