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Hagerstown man charged in rape, stabbing

April 05, 2013|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Montague Stephen Sutherland
Photo submitted by Hagerstown Police Department

A Hagerstown man charged with raping a woman last month at an apartment complex off Security Road has been ordered held at the Washington County Detention Center on a $500,000 bond.

The bond for Montague Stephan Sutherland, 25, of 61 E. Franklin St., was set by a visiting judge during a hearing Friday at Washington County District Court.

Sutherland appeared for the bond-review hearing via a closed-circuit television feed between the Detention Center and District Court.

Before bond was set, Washington County Assistant State’s Attorney Michele Hansen told the court that Sutherland had an extensive criminal background that included assault and burglary charges.

“The state would respectfully request that the bond be set as high as possible,” she said.

Sutherland has been charged with first-degree rape, second-degree rape, first-degree sex offense and nine other counts.

Conviction on a first-degree rape charge or a first-degree sex offense charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

According to the statement of probable cause, Hagerstown police responded on the morning of March 5 to the Washington Gardens Apartment complex off Security Road for a report of a burglary and rape.

When officers arrived, they found a woman “very distraught and crying” with a towel wrapped around her waist, court documents said. She was covered with a white powdered substance that smelled like bleach.

The woman was taken to Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown, where she was given a sexual assault forensic examination.

Documents state the woman had two lacerations to her right forearm, one of which was about 4 inches long “and was gaping open.” The woman also suffered a puncture wound to the back of her right thigh.

The woman told police that she was alone in the apartment when she was awakened by a man who entered her bedroom.

The woman “jumped out of bed and attempted to flee the bedroom, but was overcome by the suspect, who began to strangle her from behind by pressing his forearm against her throat, as he held (a) knife to her throat with his other hand,” the statement of probable cause said. “The suspect was threatening to kill (the woman), while pressing the knife blade into her throat.”

Documents allege that the man raped the woman and, when he was finished, put powdered bleach and rubbing alcohol on her body. Police said the man took two cellphones from the apartment before he left.

Officers were notified and used a K-9 unit to track the man, according to documents. The dog picked up a scent that led police past Pangborn Park to West Hillcrest Avenue, where the cellphones were found.

On Thursday, Maryland State Police informed Hagerstown police that a DNA sample taken from the woman’s body matched that of Sutherland, who was registered in the Maryland convicted offender database.

Police said they picked up Sutherland in downtown Hagerstown for an interview.

Officers allege Sutherland admitted to having consensual sex with the woman.

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