Former Hagerstown man found guilty of kidnapping, rape

October 17, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - A former Hagerstown man was found guilty Tuesday in Franklin County Court of 20 of 22 charges in the kidnapping and rape of two women in 2004, convictions that could send him to prison for the rest of his life.

Pov Srun, already serving as much as 35 years in prison for similar crimes in Maryland, will find out his sentence the day after Christmas if a Megan's Law sexual offender assessment is completed by that time. The eight first-degree felony convictions carry maximum sentences of 20 years each.

The jury of eight men and four women deliberated for two hours before finding Srun, 36, guilty of two counts each of felony kidnapping, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and robbery of a motor vehicle; third-degree felony counts of unlawful restraint and false imprisonment of someone under the age of 18; two misdemeanor counts of unlawful restraint and false imprisonment; and two counts each of sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, terroristic threats and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.


Defense attorney Gary Knaresboro said some of those charges will merge with others at the time of sentencing, but the cumulative sentence could mean "a lifetime, if the judge stacks them and runs them concurrently."

The jurors, who twice returned to the courtroom to ask Judge John R. Walker to read the legal definitions of some counts, acquitted Srun on two counts of simple assault.

The prosecution wrapped up its case Tuesday morning with its 16th witness. Knaresboro rested his case without calling Srun or any other witnesses to the stand.

With the jury out of the courtroom before closing arguments, Walker told Srun he had the right not to testify and that the jury could be instructed not to draw any inference from his not taking the stand.

"I won't be testifying," Srun said.

Srun, who immigrated to this country from Cambodia at an early age, showed no change of expression as the verdicts were read. The two victims, who were 16 and 20 years old at the time of the crimes, wiped tears from their eyes and thanked police and Assistant District Attorneys David Rahauser and Jeremiah Zook.

Srun's wife, mother and two sisters attended both days of the trial.

Police said Srun forced his way into the Jeep of the Smithsburg girl in the Kmart parking lot in Waynesboro, Pa., on Sept. 16, 2004, driving her to a different site and assaulting her. On Sept. 28, 2004, the same thing happened to the 20-year-old woman abducted from the Weis Market parking lot in Chambersburg, police said

In those incidents and two almost identical assaults in Maryland in 2005, police said Srun used duct tape or a ski mask to obscure his face. In three of the cases, he took pictures of the victims and left behind $200 to $300, police said.

Srun was arrested after a Feb. 21, 2005, assault in Rockville, Md., in which a bystander was able to get the license plate of his Honda Odyssey, police said. DNA from a hat band and rape kit in the Pennsylvania cases matched samples from one of the Maryland assaults and a DNA sample taken from Srun.

After hearing testimony from Pennsylvania State Police forensic scientist Jeffrey Fumea about DNA evidence, the prosecution and defense gave closing arguments.

Knaresboro argued that there was insufficient evidence on several of the charges, including kidnapping, robbery of a motor vehicle, aggravated indecent assault and terroristic threats.

The victims were not "moved a substantial distance or held for a substantial period of time," he said of the kidnapping charges. Knaresboro said there also was no evidence of robbery of a motor vehicle as Srun did not "attempt to permanently deprive the victims of their vehicles."

Rahauser ran through a long list of prosecution evidence, including DNA matches between the two Pennsylvania cases and Srun, and the similar methods used in the four assaults in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

"How long do you think those 40 minutes seemed to her?" Rahauser asked the jury in response to Knaresboro's argument that the women were not held against their will long enough to constitute kidnapping.

Rahauser said that when Srun's vehicle was searched, police found a digital camera, rolls of duct tape and an envelope with the name and address of one of the Maryland victims.

"What do we have on top of that? The evidence of the 21st century, DNA," Rahauser said.

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