An Essex man who pleaded guilty to raping his wife last September has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in Baltimore County Circuit Court.
The 34-year-old man had been separated from his wife for 10 months when he became angry while visiting her last Sept. 9 because she was soaking her wedding rings in jewelry cleaner and refused to put them on at his command, said prosecutor Stephen Bailey.
He came back about 4 a.m. the next day, the prosecutor said. The man pulled his wife from her bed, where she was sleeping with their 5-year-old daughter, put "a very real-looking toy gun to her head and threatened to shoot her if she didn't submit." He took her to the daughter's empty bedroom and raped her.
Afterward the man asked her, "So now are you going to put your rings back on?" But saying she needed a thermometer for their ill 2-year-old daughter, the wife went to another room and dialed 911 -- not speaking but leaving the receiver off
to bring the police to her home, Mr. Bailey said.
Jury selection was about to begin Wednesday on a first-degree rape charge when the husband instead decided to enter an Alford plea to second-degree rape. Although he pleaded guilty, he said he did not commit the crime but acknowledged that the state had enough evidence to convict him.