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Hearing postponed for Hagerstown man charged with rape

September 05, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Sutherland
Sutherland

An evidence-suppression hearing for a man charged with raping a woman and dousing her with powdered bleach was postponed Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court at the request of the defense, according to court records.

Montague Stephan Sutherland, 26, of East Franklin Street, Hagerstown, is charged with first- and second-degree rape, first-degree sex offense, first-degree assault, burglary and other offenses in the March 5 incident in an apartment on Security Road, according to court records.

He is being held in the Washington County Detention Center pending a trial scheduled to begin Oct. 28, court records said.

In a suppression hearing, a judge hears challenges to statements, search and seizures or other evidence to determine whether they will be admissible in a trial.

No new date was set for the suppression hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion said. The defense requested the postponement to allow more time to prepare its case, she said.

The alleged victim requested that Sutherland be tested for HIV, a request granted by Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, the records said.

The state Public Defender’s Office has asked the court to grant a motion to turn over  records regarding a DNA analysis in the case to the defense.

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, according to the statement of probable cause.

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

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

The woman had two lacerations to her right forearm, one of which was about 4 inches long “and was gaping open,” the documents said. 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,” held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her, the documents said.

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

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

A few weeks after the incident, 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.

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