An Arlington Circuit Court jury yesterday convicted a District man of conspiracy to rape and four other charges in connection with the abduction last January of an Arlington woman who testified she was taken to Washington and repeatedly raped.
The jury of nine women and three men recommended that the defendant, Gregory B. Church, 27, be sentenced to 71 years in jail, which would make him eligible for parole in 12 years.
In addition to conspiracy to rape, Church, who lives at 4915 Jay St. NE, was convicted of robbery, abduction with intent to defile and one count each of use of a firearm in connection with a robbery and abduction.
Commonwealth's Attorney Henry E. Hudson had asked the jury to sentence Church to maximum terms of life in prison on the robbery and abduction charges. Church will be sentenced by Judge Charles H. Duff on Oct. 5.
Church is the first of two defendants to stand trial in Arlington in connection with the Jan. 15. incident. Codefendant Stanley Hunt, 25, faces the same charges. His trial date is set for Sept. 26.
Church and Hunt, along with two other District men, also face rape charges in D.C. Superior Court in connection with the assault on the Arlington woman.
The victim, a 30-year-old nurse, told the jury in testimony earlier this week that she was in her car in front of the River House apartment complex at 1400 S. Joyce St. in Arlington around 9 p.m. when a man asking directions brandished a gun and got in the car beside her. Another man, whom she identified as Church, got in the back seat, the woman testified.
The woman said she was robbed of about $25 and forced to drive to the District. According to the woman's testimony, the three stopped at two locations in Northeast Washington where she was repeatedly assaulted and, after three hours, was dropped off by her attackers at the Deanwood Metro Station where she took the subway back to Arlington.
During the entire incident, the woman told the jurors, a knife or gun was pressed against her head, neck or chest. "I was terrified . . . Complete shock and horror," the woman told a hushed courtroom Monday.
The woman said she was first raped in the back seat of the car at the parking lot of a small apartment complex by both defendants as a small crowd gathered. From there, she testified, she was taken into the vacant basement of another apartment building where she was assaulted by several men. She said she lost count of her attackers and was confused about her whereabouts throughout the incident.
Hudson told jurors the multiple attack occurred at the Mayfair Apartment complex in the 3800 block of Jay Street NE in a vacant basement he called "the dungeon."
At one point, the woman said District police officers stopped to help her and the two abductors when the car stalled but left when Church told them they did not need any assistance.
Despite earlier objections from Defense Attorney Conrad Gaarder, Judge Charles H. Duff allowed jurors to hear a statement made by Church to District police in which he admitted taking part in the abduction and raping the woman.
Gaarder also argued that the assaults were not planned. Hudson argued that Hunt and Church intended to assault the woman sexually when they entered her car.