A 21-year-old Arlington man was found guilty yesterday of abduction, robbery, sodomy, penetration with an inanimate object and two counts of rape in an incident prosecutors called "a horrible, chilling, unfathomable, sadistic series of crimes."
The Arlington Circuit Court jury recommended prison sentences totaling 220 years for Khalid T. Traish of 1325 N. McKinley Rd.
Traish was convicted of an attack on a 47-year-old Silver Spring woman last July 6. The woman testified that she was attacked by Traish and another man in the elevator of a South Arlington apartment building, then dragged to a basement laundry room where she was robbed of her jewelry, beaten, raped twice, sodomized and sexually assaulted with a garden hose for nearly five hours.
The other man, Carl E. Williams Jr., 27, of Vienna, agreed to plead guilty to one count of rape and testify against Traish in exchange for a 20-year suspended sentence.
Defense attorney Frank B. Tavenner argued that the evidence was not strong enough to prove a rape had occurred, or, if one had, to link Traish to the crime.
Forensic scientists testified for the prosecution that bodily secretions found on the woman's clothing were consistent with those of Traish, but also consistent with one-third of the male population.
Traish and other defense witnesses testified he was at a Columbia Pike restaurant in the early morning hours of July 6.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Liam O'Grady told the jury in closing arguments that the woman's identification of Traish was strong evidence against him. "She was in a lighted basement with that man for almost five hours, nothing covering his face . . . . There is not any doubt that she would be able to identify the perpetrator of these horrible crimes."
Tavenner, in closing, argued that the woman's testimony was not trustworthy because it differed from a statement she originally gave police. The woman at first said a man threatened her while she was stopped at a traffic light in the District of Columbia and drove her to Arlington. Later she said she was on her way to visit a friend in the apartment building about 1:30 a.m. when she was attacked in the elevator.
O'Grady responded that the inconsistency arose from the woman's feelings of shame and horror. "This is a woman who was violently assaulted on an elevator, and then she was taken one floor down to hell, where she was beaten, raped, robbed, forced to commit sodomy innumerable times," he said, his voice straining. "She was terrorized beyond our ability to even comprehend."
Judge Paul F. Sheridan, who has authority to lower the jury's sentence but not raise it, set sentencing for Feb. 7.
Traish also faces charges of abduction, attempted rape, breaking and entering and rape in connection with five other Arlington incidents.