A Havre de Grace man accused of helping another man rape a pregnant 19-year-old woman last May has been convicted of first-degree rape during a four-day trial in Harford Circuit Court.
Christopher U. Eley, 21, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison following his March8 conviction by a jury of nine women and three men. A sentencing date for Eley has not been scheduled.
The other defendant, Richard L. Wallace, 21, of Aberdeen, awaits trial.
Wallace was the first to have intercourse with the victim during the May 16 attack at her Havre de Grace home, the woman testified.
The woman, who was about two months pregnant at the time of the attack, told the jury that Eley was putting on a condom when two neighbors came to the door of her home.
Eley and Wallace fled through the back door of the house when the neighbors arrived, the woman said. Investigators found a condom in a trash near the back door.
Assistant State's Attorney Jay Robinson told the jury in closing arguments that Eley can be convicted of first-degree rape for helping Wallace.
"If (Eley) aids, if he's there, if he assists in any way, thenhe is just as guilty," Robinson told the jury.
Eley, however, testified that the woman is wrongfully accusing
him. He also told thejury that he tried to stop Wallace from attacking the woman.
In addition to first-degree rape, Eley was convicted of assault with intent to rape, battery, assault and false imprisonment. The jury, however, acquitted Eley of second-degree rape and third-degree sexual offense.
The Harford County Board of Education voted Monday to approve a redistricting plan for the new North Bend Elementary School in northern Harford County.
North Bend Elementary,expected to cost $6.7 million, is under construction at 1441 North Bend Road in Jarrettsville. The school, scheduled to open in September, will have a capacity of 600 students.
The school board approved an overall plan to re-assign students from the nearby elementary schools in rural northern Harford, including Jarrettsville, Forest Hill, Norrisville and North Harford.
However, they agreed to exempt children who live in the High Point development from being redistricted to North Bend Elementary School.
Several families in the High Pointdevelopment previously had asked the board not to move their children from Forest Hill Elementary School, where they now attend school.