The man stood in court beside his son, who was about to be sentenced for rape, and pleaded with the judge to be lenient.

"For years, I've been helping other men in trouble," said Calvin Harvey Sr., a teacher and counselor with the D.C. Social Rehabilitation Administration. "Now I want to do something for my son. I should have done something a long time ago."

Harvey said he would see that the prisoner got a job, went back to school, got counseling about alcohol and drugs, and "pyschological treatment to find out what his problem is."

"Whatever it is, I'd like to take him and do it," Harvey said.

"This case has troubled me from the very beginning," said Judge Nicholas S. Nunzio of D.C. superior Court. But, he added, "I'm satisfied that the jury returned an honest verdict."

The verdict was by a jury of eight women and four men on Jan. 25. It found Calvin Harvey Jr., 28, guilty of raping a 29 year old woman in her apartment on March 7, 1976. Harvey was employed as a security guard in the building and also lived there.

Prosecution and defense attorneys agreed that the victim had not been beaten, and Harvey said that the woman consented to his advances. She said she had submitted, in the words of the law, "out of fear of death or grave bodily injury and for no other reason."

At yesterday's sentencing, Judge Nunzio said that probation officers who prepared Harvey's presentence report had recommended against probation because of the seriousness of the crime.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark H. Tuohey III said it was "the most serious offense that can be committed against a member of the opposite sex." He asked for a long prison term. Rape carries a maximum penalty of 15 years to life in prison.

W. Gary Kohlman, of the Public Defender Service, asked Nunzio to give his client a "considerable amount of rope and put it around his neck."

He suggested that if the judge imposed a 10-year suspended sentence and Harvey ran afoul of the law, "then the rope would come into play" and he could be put into prison.

Kohlman noted that Harvey's one prior conviction was for possession drugs. He said it also appeared that Harvey had a drinking problem.

But it was to Harvey Sr. that Nunzio, a former prosecutor with a reputation for tough sentences, seemed to pay the most attention. Harvey Sr. repeated that he wanted "to get involved" with his son.

He said his son had had a chance to go to college, as had his sisters and brothers, and added, "this behavior is not from his home teaching . . . I ask your honor for leniency."

"I impose a sentence of 15 years to life," Nunzio finally said. "I suspend all but six months of it. This is to be served in a half-way house. I place him on probation for five years."

Nunzio added, "I've taken gambles before."

"This is not going to be a gamble," Harvey Sr. responded.