HAGERSTOWN — The first of serial rapist Pov Srun's known crimes became the last to be prosecuted when the former Hagerstown man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to the 1998 rape of a Smithsburg woman.
"I deserve to never breathe another free breath," said Srun, who pleaded guilty to first-degree rape.
Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. sentenced Srun to 85 years in prison.
"I want to apologize to everyone in this wonderful country for my selfish behavior," Srun said, reading from a hand-written statement.
"I only saw you and numerous other victims as sex objects," Srun said, referring to the victim in the 1998 rape. "I became an out-of-control, sex-crazed maniac.
"God Almighty intended for me to see you as precious," rather than seeking to "satisfy my immediate sexual fantasies and gratification," Srun said.
Srun blamed an addiction to pornography for the series of four rapes and a sexual assault that began on Dec. 8, 1998, and ended with his capture in February 2005 when a bystander witnessed an assault in Montgomery County and was able to get the license number of Srun's Honda Odyssey.
The woman in the Smithsburg case, now 41, was present in court Tuesday.
Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said the woman, then 28, got into her car to go to work when a man hiding in the back seat threatened her with a knife. They drove to a nearby Little League field, where Srun bound her hands with duct tape and taped her sunglasses to her face before raping her, Cirincion said.
Srun, whose family emigrated from Cambodia when he was a child, told investigators he only knew the woman from seeing her a few times at a grocery store, Cirincion said.
Cirincion told Long that the investigation into the case went cold until 2011 when it was determined that a DNA sample from the crime matched a sample Srun had submitted to CODIS, an acronym for the Combined DNA Index System database.
Srun's methods were similar in all the cases, attacking woman as they got into their own vehicles. In some cases he used duct tape to bind victims and pieces of tape to disguise his face.
On Sept. 16, 2004, a 16-year-old Smithsburg girl was attacked as she got into her car in the parking lot of Kmart in Waynesboro, Pa. She was driven to an unknown location and sexually assaulted.
On Sept. 28, 2004, a 20-year-old Chambersburg, Pa., woman was abducted and raped when she was getting into her vehicle outside a Weis Market in Chambersburg.
DNA from the sweatband of a baseball cap found in the first victim's car matched that from a sample taken from the second victim, police in Waynesboro and Chambersburg said.
On Jan. 25, 2005, Srun sexually assaulted a woman in Rockville, Md., and another in Bethesda, Md., on Feb. 21, at which time he was captured.
Convicted of second-degree rape and first-degree sex offense in those cases, Srun was sentenced to 35 years in prison, Assistant Public Defender Carl Creeden told Long.
The judge gave Srun credit for time served since his 2005 arrest, and the 85-year sentence will run concurrent to the 35-year sentence imposed in the Montgomery County cases.
Long told Srun he would have to serve half his sentence before being eligible for parole because it was a crime of violence.
However, if Srun makes parole in Maryland, he would then begin serving his 34 1/2 to 170-year sentence in Pennsylvania, where he was convicted on the two rapes in Franklin County.
"I just hope that this brings some closure," the victim said. "This man is a very, very sick man."
The woman thanked Maryland State Police for keeping the investigation alive years after it went cold, including Sgt. Troy E. McDonough.