A former Baltimore man who blamed his crimes on drug and alcohol addictions was sentenced Monday to serve 25 years in prison for the 1997 rape of a 66-year-old Glen Burnie woman - a crime that had gone unsolved for a decade, when police tied his DNA and palm print to the crime scene.

Vander Davis, 42, told Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Philip T. Caroom that he became dependent on drugs and alcohol as an adolescent. He said his health problems stemmed from that, and that he wanted treatment and to have a productive life. His crimes include indecent exposure, theft and a 2004 burglary in Lansdowne in which he was shot while fleeing.

Davis reiterated his belief that he is innocent. In October, he entered a plea that acknowledged the state had evidence to convict him of rape, but did not admit guilt.

Caroom sentenced him to 50 years in prison, but suspended half of it, and recommended officials evaluate him for medical care and addiction treatment.

"I wasn't in there to try and hurt this woman. It was all a misunderstanding," he said.

The victim, now 79, had been gardening on April 30, 1997, in front of her home. She walked through her home when she heard her dogs barking in the backyard. When she came in again, a man forced her into the bathroom and raped her. The victim did not come to court, said Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Rogers, "because she said she never wanted to see the man who sexually assaulted her again."

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