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Man gets 23 to 46 1/2 years for rape

January 28, 2009|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- A Mercersburg, Pa., man convicted of raping his ex-girlfriend was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court to 23 to 46 1/2 years in state prison.

Marcus James Riley, 21, of 227 S. Fayette St., also was convicted of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, sexual assault, simple assault, burglary, criminal mischief and harassment in his September jury trial. Pennsylvania State Police had charged him with breaking into the Hamilton Township home of his ex-girlfriend on Jan. 17.

Riley broke into the house by smashing a door window with a rock. He then beat the woman, forced her into the basement and raped her, according to police and trial testimony by the 18-year-old woman. Riley also was convicted during the same trial of simple assault for repeatedly punching her in the face in a November 2007 incident in Greencastle, Pa.

Assistant District Attorney Lauren Sulcove told Judge Carol Van Horn that Riley has a history of violence against women, including a 2002 incident in which he shoved a screwdriver through a girlfriend's throat and a 2004 beating of another girlfriend. He was placed in juvenile treatment for the one incident and served time in the county jail for the other, she said.

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Describing him as "manipulative and conniving," Sulcove said the woman Riley assaulted in 2004 was in the courtroom, sitting with his family.

"I'd just like to say I'm sorry again for the trouble I caused ... I didn't force anyone to come here," Riley said, apparently indicating the woman with his family.

"I don't want to sound too jaded," Sulcove told the judge, saying Riley has never taken responsibility for his actions. Riley has claimed that the sex was consensual in the 2008 incident and that he did not assault the woman in the 2007 case, she said.

Van Horn asked defense attorney Allen Welch if he had reviewed Riley's presentence report.

"Franklin County presentence reports are a sensitive subject with me," Welch said. "I look at everyone of them as the death of a very good tree."

"Your conduct that day victimized this woman in every way possible without taking her life," Van Horn told Riley. She called his crimes "absolutely despicable."

The sentencing of Riley was no laughing matter, but Van Horn warned a woman who chuckled during the hearing and then had sheriff's deputies escort her from the courtroom when she failed to stop. The woman argued with deputies in the corridor and was then removed from the courthouse.

"Something just came into my head," the woman said outside, identifying herself as Riley's aunt.

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