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City man gets life sentence for assault at school

May 24, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

After listening to an account of a 14-year-old girl's ordeal last fall during a sexual assault at North Hagerstown High School, Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick Wright sentenced her attacker to life in prison Wednesday.

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Bradley Wayne Rinehart, of Hagerstown, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree sex offense for which he received the maximum penalty.

Rinehart also admitted to one count of first-degree assault, for which he received a 25-year concurrent sentence.

"These were two separate crimes during this nightmare time for this young lady," Wright said at the sentencing, acknowledging the presence of the victim and her mother in the courtroom.

Rinehart was silent.

Now 32, Rinehart had also been charged with second- and third-degree sex offense, unnatural and perverted sex, sodomy, theft, openly carrying a weapon with intent to injure, kidnapping, false imprisonment, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

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All were dropped Wednesday in exchange for the pleas.

Hagerstown City Police said the victim was waiting at the south side of the North Hagerstown High School building at 6 p.m. on Oct. 25 when she was approached by a man who asked her to help him find his daughter inside the school.

When the girl entered the school, the man followed her inside and forced her into an unoccupied room, police said.

Police said the man grabbed the girl by the throat and pulled a knife from his jacket pocket.

During the assault, the man may have been frightened by noises inside the building and the girl escaped, court records said.

Witnesses told police they saw a man matching the description given by the victim leaving the area by bicycle that afternoon, court records said.

Rinehart was on a bicycle on Nov. 23, 1987, when he attempted to abduct a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint in the 1100 block of Maryland Avenue near South High, according to court records.

Rinehart, who was 19 then, was sentenced to 12 years for assault and an unrelated burglary in 1988, court records said. He was paroled in April 1995.

Washington County Circuit Court records indicate that in 1995 Rinehart was handed an additional five-year prison term for an assault involving a young girl near a school.

In the 1995 incident, Rinehart grabbed a North High student and tried to pull her into some woods, Washington County Circuit Court records said. She broke free and alerted school officials, court records said.

Rinehart was released from the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md., on April 9, 1999.

"He has a history of very similar incidents," said Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Joe Michael. "He is totally incorrigible ... life is the only sentence here."

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