A Bowie teenager was sentenced yesterday to two years' supervised probation and 200 hours of community service for his role in the Jan. 18 sexual assault on a female Bowie High School student during an afternoon of heavy drinking at the victim's home.
Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge William B. Spellbring Jr. sentenced Brett Michael Williams, 18, to three years in prison but suspended the sentence and added the other conditions.
"This is a tragedy for everyone involved," Spellbring said.
Spellbring found Williams guilty last month of second-degree assault for fondling the victim, who was then 15, and photographing her engaged in sexual conduct. Spellbring acquitted Williams of three other charges, including a third-degree sex offense.
Two other teenage boys, originally charged as adults, were tried this week as juveniles. One was acquitted of all charges and the other was found by a Circuit Court judge to be "involved"--the juvenile court equivalent of guilty--in a third-degree sex offense without force.
The victim testified at Williams's trial that on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Williams and several other male friends came to her home, where she and the friends drank malt liquor. She testified that she vomited after chugging most of a bottle of malt liquor and that some of her visitors helped her undress and put her in the shower.
The victim testified that while she tried to sleep in her bed, one of the visitors raped her while someone else took pictures, which were introduced as evidence.
Before Spellbring passed sentence, the victim's father told the judge the incident has had a profound effect on his daughter and his family.
The father said his daughter is seeing a psychiatrist and taking medication for depression. He said he has also struggled to deal with his anger.
"My anger is such that you'd probably have to call the whole sheriff's department to stop me . . . . I'd run through all of them like tackling dummies to get at this young man," he said.
Defense attorneys Patrick J. McAndrew and Melvin G. Bergman told Spellbring their client, who had no previous record, did not deserve imprisonment. Referring to the anger of the victim's father, Bergman said, "We're not in the revenge business."
Williams was a senior when he was suspended from Bowie High School in January because of the incident and will have to repeat his senior year, his attorneys said.
A Prince George's grand jury reduced the charges against the two other teenagers in the case to juvenile offenses. The two were tried this week before Circuit Court Judge Larnzell Martin Jr. At the request of prosecutors and defense attorneys, the public was barred from the trial.
Martin acquitted one of the teenagers of a third-degree sex offense, a second-degree sex offense and three lesser charges, said Robert Bonsib, the teenager's attorney.
Martin found the other teenager, whom the victim alleged had raped her, "involved" in a third-degree sex offense and simple assault. Martin found the teenager did not use force, but the judge cited a state law that says someone can be too drunk to consent to sexual relations, said David M. Simpson, attorney for the teenager found involved.
According to testimony in Williams's trial, the girl had engaged in oral sex on three previous occasions with the teenager she accused of raping her.
"This was a case of extremely poor judgment by a bunch of teenagers who had consumed a lot of alcohol," Simpson said.
Martin scheduled sentencing for Nov. 1.