A Takoma Park man was convicted yesterday of raping a 14-year-old girl six days after he had been released from prison in a court-ordered effort to relieve overcrowding in Maryland's prisons.
Neely Alfred Moore, 49, had been serving a 10-year sentence for kidnaping in another sex-related case, authorities said, when he was released on Nov. 8, 1978.
Six days later, a Prince George's County Circuit jury found yesterday, he raped the girl, a Greenbelt eighthgrader.
Neely, convicted yesterday of second-degree rape, two misdemeanor sex offenses, and false imprisonment, faces a maximum of 42 years in prison on the charges.
Yesterday's conviction came after a lengthy investigation in which the victim's father, asking acquaintances for leads, helped Greenbelt police identify Moore.
"They should have never let him out on the street," the victim's father said yesterday, describing the family as "very happy" at yesterday's conviction.
Moore had been paroled from the Maryland House of Corrections at Jessup, a medium-security facility named in the overcrowding order.
"His parole officer advised me he was released not because he was ready for parole, but because of court-ordered reduction of the prison population," said Greenbelt police detective Tom Ceccarelli, who investigated the 1978 case.
The prison overcrowding decision was handed down Aug. 4, 1978. U.S. District Court Judges Alexander Harvey II and Stanley Blair, ruled that the overcrowding was unconstitutional because it represented cruel and unusual punishment. They gave Maryland state officials eight months to remove 1,000 inmates. At the time, Maryland Attorney General Francis (Bill) Burch said meeting the deadline would pose "a substantial threat to public safety."
According to court records, after his release, Moore visited a friend who also had been an inmate a Jessup. The friend was living with a woman in the rape victim's Greenbelt neighborhood.
Moore had seen the 14-year-old in his friend's neighborhood, an had said, "She's cute. I'd like to meet her." That night, Moore's friend, an accquaintance of the famly, went to the girl's home and told her parents she was invited to a dance. The girl went out with Moore, instead, according to court records.
The folowing night, Moore visited the girl at a home where she was babysitting.The next day, Moore's friend allegedly appeared at the girl's school with a note saying the girl had an emergency medical appointment. The girl left with him, and met with Moore and a young woman friend, the records say.
The four drove around, stopping for lunch, according to the records. The other couple, who allegedly had been drinking, later passed out. It was then that the 14-year-old was raped, and then driven home.
Moore, whose records shows numerous arrests dating back to 1945, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnaping in a sex-related case in 1972.