Man sentenced in Howard Co. to 30 years in sexual assault on ex-girlfriend

A Carroll County man who was convicted of kidnapping and assault in the August 2012 sexual assault on his former girlfriend in her Marriottsville home has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in Howard County Circuit Court, the county State's Attorney's Office announced Monday.

Joseph Dwayne Caudill, 40, formerly of the 3100 block of Cape Hill Court in Hampstead, was sentenced by Judge Richard Bernhardt on April 4 after being convicted by a Howard County jury of kidnapping and second-degree assault in connection with the Aug. 15 incident. 

During the trial, which was held in May, the jury was deadlocked on a second-degree rape charge, which would've resulted in a new trial if Caudill hadn't accepted a plea deal with the State's Attorney's Office at a motions hearing on his new trial in December.

As part of the deal, Caudill entered an Alford Plea, which is a guilty plea without actually admitting guilt. 

At last week's sentencing hearing, Caudill tried to withdraw his Alford Plea on the rape charge, stating that he "made a grave error" in accepting the deal, according to State's Attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan. Kirwan said Caudill's basis for attempting to withdraw the plea was because he said the events of Aug. 15, when Caudill is accused of breaking into the victim's home, strangling her with a bathrobe belt, beating her and raping her, were "within the context" of their "masochistic" relationship. 

Kirwan said Caudill's bid to withdraw, which was rejected by Judge Bernhardt, was done against the advice of his defense attorney.

The investigation into the incident began at 11:19 p.m. on Aug. 15 when Howard County police responded to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore for the victim's report. The victim told police that Caudill used a stolen key to enter her home, and that, once inside, he raped her and beat her, Kirwan said. 

The victim then said she fled the residence and tried to enter her neighbor's vacant home while Caudill chased her, Kirwan said. The scene was caught on motion-activated video surveillance system in the neighbor's home, which was played in open court during the trial, Kirwan said. 

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