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Columbia man pleads guilty, sentenced in rape of elderly woman

A Columbia man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for the kidnapping and sexual assault of an 87-year-old woman in June.

Michael Lawrence Pinkney, 55, of the 6500 block of Overheart Lane, pleaded guilty to one count each of second-degree rape and second-degree sex offense in connection with the kidnapping, sexual assault and beating of an elderly woman on the afternoon of June 15.

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According to the statement of facts in the case, Pinkney picked up the woman, who was waiting at a bus stop, by offering her a ride. He then drove her to a wooded area near an empty office complex, in the 10600 block of Little Patuxent Parkway, and dragged her into the woods, where he allegedly beat her and raped her for two hours, according to the facts.

According to Howard County State's Attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan, prosecutors said during the plea hearing that the crime had a ripple effect among community members.

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According to Kirwan, Deputy State's Attorney Mary V. Murphy said the assault was "unbelievable and horrific, not only to [the victim], but to the community."

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Kirwan said the defense attorney argued Pinkney's behavior was an anomaly and that he experienced "a psychotic break."

According to Kirwan, Pinkey addressed the court and said: "I just want to say to everybody in the courtoom: I'm sorry. I never hurt nobody before."

Judge Richard Bernhardt ordered that Pinkney undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation. He will also register as a sex offender and be placed on five-years' probation after his release, Kirwan said.

According to Kirwan, Berhardt said he thought Pinkney's remorse was genuine, but added that "the brutality in this case is shocking."

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Pinkney was identified as a suspect by police through available surveillance video from the scene. Police used the video to identify a suspect vehicle -- a black BMW convertible.

The video showed a car matching Pinkney's BMW drive to the area of the alleged assault with a passenger, and then leave two hours later without one, police said.

Police said they could not identify the license plate from the video, but that "an extensive search" of a vehicle matching the description turned up a car registered to Pinkney.

Pinkney was arrested on June 19 at his home.

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