Man Convicted in 2002 Rape

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 12, 2008

A 66-year-old grandmother of 25 took the stand this week at a trial in Montgomery County and quietly told jurors how she had been sexually assaulted six years ago. "It's that man there," she said, pointing at the defendant. "Those are the same eyes."

The eyes were those of Anthony Kelly, 44, who was convicted yesterday of first-degree rape. Kelly faces charges in Montgomery and the District related to crimes in 2002 in which three people were killed and two women were raped.

Although he was charged that year, Kelly was deemed mentally unfit to participate in his defense or stand trial. After he was ruled competent early this year, Kelly dismissed his court-appointed attorneys, choosing to represent himself in the first of his trials.

His defense strategy appeared unorthodox: He said he burglarized at least 12 homes and sold drugs, and he said he was also accused of killing a 9-year-old girl and raping another woman, charges that prosecutors were prohibited from mentioning.

Kelly was aggressive in questioning the woman he was accused of raping, a native of the Dominican Republic, who testified through an interpreter. The Washington Post does not generally identify victims of sexual assault.

At one point, he asked: "If the . . . jury happened to find me guilty of something I didn't do, I spent 20 years in prison for something I didn't do, do you think that I should forgive you? That's the question."

The questions drew an objection from Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy. Circuit Court Judge Durke G. Thompson ruled that the woman did not have to answer the question.

Authorities said the woman fought back during the attack and at one point threw Kelly's gun under a car.

The woman testified that late on March 21, 2002, she was walking along a sidewalk next to Greenwood Avenue in Silver Spring, headed for the house of one of her daughters. She saw Kelly approaching and felt uncomfortable, she said. He passed her, turned around and attacked, she said.

"He grabbed my arm and twisted it like a chicken and he took it out of its place," she said.

Authorities have said she was pistol-whipped, her shoulder was dislocated and one of her wrists was injured.

In an interview after the verdict, the woman said she hoped Kelly would be jailed long enough not to attack anyone else. "All these days, I've been reliving this same experience, over and over," she said.

Kelly, during the trial, said he was out of town when the rape occurred. He said police charged him because he would not testify against a friend in another case. He said that when he burglarized the homes, he saw women alone but did not harm them. "Never in my life did I rape a female," he said.

In his opening statement, Kelly said he would discredit evidence linking him to a DNA sample collected from the woman.

"You're going to see the way I question the DNA expert, the one that say that the DNA is mine's. And you're gong to see for yourself that it's not mine's," he said. "This whole thing is nothing but a frame. That's all it is."

A DNA expert later testified that the chances were 1 in 4.1 quintillion that the DNA belonged to someone other than Kelly.

The jury needed less than two hours to reach its verdict: guilty of first-degree rape, first-degree assault, and using a gun in a felony. Kelly did not visibly react as the verdict was read, sitting down and rubbing his chin with his left hand. He was handcuffed and led away. A sentencing date is pending.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company