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Hagerstown man pleads guilty to first-degree rape charges

December 21, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown man accused of kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old girl and raping two local women in their homes pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of first-degree rape.

In exchange for James Ellis Hackey Jr.'s pleas in Washington County Circuit Court, the prosecution agreed to drop its pursuit of a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion told Circuit Judge Donald Beachley that the state would seek a life sentence for the rape of the child in May, and two consecutive life sentences with all but 50 years suspended in the rapes of the two women, one in 2006 and the other in 2007.

Hackey, 39, was returned to the Washington County Detention Center without bond pending the outcome of a presentence investigation and a psychological examination.

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At Thursday's hearing, Hackey was silent except for answering yes or no to Beachley's questions on whether he understood to which crimes he was pleading guilty.

When asked if he had been on parole at the time of the crimes, Hackey said yes. Reference was made to the existence of a 1987 presentence investigation of Hackey, the nature of which was unknown.

Hackey was charged with 54 counts of assault, rape and other sexual offenses in the three incidents.

The indictment included first-degree rape and kidnapping charges in a May 10 incident in which the girl was taken from her bedroom at Oak Ridge Apartments.

Cirincion told Beachley on Thursday that Hackey broke into homes on Manor Drive and Kelly's Lane, where he raped the women.

DNA samples from two of the cases were matched with Hackey's DNA after he was taken into custody in June, Cirincion said.

Another piece of evidence linking Hackey to the rape and kidnapping of the child was a photograph of a girl he showed the victim and her younger sister when he broke into their Oak Ridge apartment.

When Hackey was taken into custody, officers found a photo of a girl in his wallet, who later was identified as a niece. The victim and her younger sister both said that was the photo they were shown the night of the incident, Cirincion said Thursday.

Assistant Public Defender Jerome Joyce represented Hackey at Thursday's hearing.

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