A Pasadena man who revealed his role in the gang rape of a Pioneer City woman while testifying on behalf of two friends charged in the attack was sentenced yesterday to 50 years in prison.
Before sentencing William H. Jackson, Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Eugene M. Lerner called the assault against the woman "outrageous" and read from a letter from the victim asking that Jackson be given a life sentence.
Jackson was not even a defendant in the case until he decided to waive his right not to incriminate himself and testified at the September 1991 trial of Robert L. Galloway and Donald W. Johnson, the two men charged in the rape.
During his testimony, Jackson, 28, claimed that he and the two defendants in the case did not rape the 23-year-old victim. Rather, he said, the woman -- an admitted addict who went to the Meade Village area of Severn in the early morning of March 9, 1991, looking for drugs -- exchanged sex with the men for crack cocaine, a practice known as "freaking."
Although Jackson was a suspect in the attack, he had not been charged because the victim could not positively identify him. But after his confession on the stand, Jackson was arrested outside the courtroom.
Jackson has been a prisoner at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center ever since. In April, he was convicted of first-degree rape and a first-degree sex offense.
Galloway is serving a 15-year prison sentence and Johnson is serving 12 years.
Before yesterday's sentencing, Jackson's attorney, David P. Olslund, filed motions to overturn the jury's verdict and begin a new trial. He argued that the prosecution excluded evidence showing the rape did not take place. In addition, he said, there was no evidence that the victim resisted or that the three men used force on her.
"There is no evidence to show she resisted except that she said 'No,' " Olslund said.
"Well, isn't that enough?" Lerner said shortly before denying the motions.
Assistant State's Attorney Robert J. Bittman, in asking for a sentence of 50 to 70 years, said Jackson was the instigator of the rape. "He was the one who lured her in there. He was the one who made the initial contact," he said.
Jackson's mother, Joyce, testifying on her son's behalf, said she did not believe he would commit a rape because of "the way he was raised," and because he told her he did not do it.
"When I ask him a question, he usually tells me the truth," she said.
Jackson, addressing the judge in a low voice before the sentence was handed down, pointed out that although he was summoned to the court as a witness and had thoughts about not coming, "I came on my own to testify."
He said he has been going to school to earn his high school equivalency degree since being sent to prison and asked for a light sentence so he could raise his four children.
"I want to be a better father to my children, because I didn't have a father figure in my life," he said.
But Lerner was not swayed.
"It was just an awful situation," he said of the attack. "I can imagine the torture she was put through."
He also read from the victim's letter, in which she wrote that "these were men I knew. I couldn't believe they could be so crude. . . . They need to spend the rest of their lives behind bars, thinking about the ruthlessness of what they did."
Jackson received a 25-year sentence for the rape conviction and an additional 25 years, to be served consecutively, for the sex offense.
During Jackson's trial, the victim testified that she had been attacked by four or more men, while Jackson insisted only three were involved.
Before leaving the courtroom yesterday, Lerner told Jackson he would substantially reduce his sentence if he revealed the names of anyone else involved in the rape.