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Inmate sentenced in attempted rape

December 10, 2005|By PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

A man already serving 35 years for a 1991 murder conviction was sentenced to serve 13 more years after he pleaded guilty Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court to the attempted rape of a Roxbury Correctional Institution correctional officer in July.

Delmar William Patrick III, 31, is serving a 50-year sentence, all but 35 years of which were suspended, for a 1991 murder conviction in Cecil County, Washington County State's Attorney Charles Strong said.

On Thursday, Circuit Judge John H. McDowell ordered Patrick, who pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree rape, serve 13 more years for the July 7 offense.

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Patrick, who was 16 when he was convicted for the 1990 murder of a 13-year-old girl, was transferred from Hagerstown to the Supermax prison in Baltimore after the incident, according to Strong and published reports.

The correctional officer did not speak in court Thursday, but submitted a victim impact statement, which McDowell read over before announcing his verdict.

"She feels betrayed. Her trust has been shattered ... She can't go back to the job that she loved and that she was so proud of," McDowell said before announcing the sentence. "Those who work in prisons expect that no crimes will be committed there."

McDowell told Patrick that the correctional officer "has treated you with nothing but kindness and respect," all of which were reasons why Patrick should be sentenced to 13 years for the offense, he said.

Strong had told McDowell that sentencing guidelines for Patrick ranged between eight and 13 years for a conviction on the charge, but that he was asking for the maximum in that range.

Patrick said he understood the sentence would be "capped off" at 13 years before he pleaded guilty. McDowell told him that he could impose the statutory maximum sentence of 20 years and Patrick proceeded to plead.

When given a chance to speak, Patrick, wearing a Division of Correction jumpsuit, his short brown hair ruffled, looked directly at the victim, who sat with another woman on the far side of the courtroom.

"You didn't deserve it. You're a very good person. I am very truly sorry," Patrick said to her. The correctional officer cried, clamping her lips to hold back her tears, and nodded.

On July 7 about 8 p.m., Patrick was performing work detail duties at RCI and was allowed by the female correctional officer to use a restroom at an educational building at the facility, Strong said.

As the officer was securing doors in the building, she heard "fast, close tiptoeing behind her," Strong said. Patrick had grabbed her from behind with both hands and knocked her to the ground, telling her that he didn't want to kill her, but just wanted to have sex with her, Strong said. The correctional officer, pinned to the ground, used a chemical spray and tried to knee Patrick as he tried to get his sweat pants off to rape her, Strong said. She used her radio to get assistance, he said.

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