She remembers exactly when she knew something was wrong: Brown climbed over the front seat and into the back of the cab.

He started kissing her neck. She said no. He told her to take off her underwear. She said no. The rest of the sexual assault continued in the same way, the victim said in the interview.

"I didn't want to lose my life that night. I was just crying. I kept saying, 'No.'"

Today, the Sandtown-Winchester woman, dressed in a flowing white tunic cinched at her waist with a black belt, trendy black knee-high boots and her hair pinned back in a wispy ponytail, is tiny. She weighs about 110 pounds and stands 5-feet-4-inches tall.

At the time of the rape, she said, she was less than 100 and barely taller than 5 feet, and she knew she couldn't overpower the 6-foot-tall Brown, who weighed in at 175 pounds.

Court documents described the scene: The cab driver, a man who was never identified, had glanced back continuously throughout the ordeal.

After Brown had raped her, he looked up at the cab driver, and asked him a question, and asked "if he wanted some."

The driver said no.

By that time, the cab was stopped in the back of a parking lot at 2159 Patapsco Ave.

Brown shoved her out of the sedan in front of some large trash bins and told her to face them or he would shoot her.

After the cab pulled away, she wandered into a nearby pizza shop in Baltimore's Lakeland neighborhood, her faced stained with tears, and asked the people behind the counter to call 911 to tell police she had been raped. When they stared at her and did nothing, she walked to a pay phone in front of a 7-Eleven and dialed the police.

Delsie Parker, the detective who investigated the crime, testified that it was Brown's final action, pushing the girl out of the car in front of the trash bins, that caused that rape — out of the 300 or 400 she investigated over a decade — to haunt her.

"I was upset. I remember thinking, 'Wow. Not only was she raped, but the suspect kicked her out like trash,'" Parker testified at Brown's trial.

Parker said she chased the case cold. She investigated sedan companies in Cherry Hill, searched for cabs that matched the victim's description and tried to find the man the victim had originally mistaken the suspect for, the one who flirted with her aunt at the convenience store.

When Parker was reassigned to a new unit, she stopped communicating with the victim and her family.

"Before you left were there any new leads to follow in the case?" the prosecutor asked Parker at trial.

"No there was not. We were waiting … [for] a possible DNA hit."

DNA evidence leads to convictions

While Brown's victim waited to hear from police, Gov. Martin O'Malley, in one of his first big legislative victories, shepherded an expanded DNA law through the 2008 General Assembly session. The law, one of the most contentious issues of the session, became effective on Jan. 1, 2009.

It authorized DNA samples to be collected after an arrest for a violent crime, a burglary or the attempt to commit a violent crime or a burglary. Previously, law enforcement was only able to collect DNA after a conviction.