Laurel man found guilty of sexual assault, his third conviction

Jess Nocera
Contact ReporterHoward County Times

A Laurel man has been found guilty in a September 2014 case in which prosecutors said he took a woman, who was impaired from alcohol, to his apartment and sexually assaulted her.

The verdict Wednesday is the third conviction for Edward Witherspoon, 59, stemming from assault cases in Baltimore City and Howard County.

Witherspoon is already serving a 40-year sentence at the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland for convictions in two other assault cases.

He was sentenced in September 2017 following conviction in the January 2016 kidnapping and sexual assault of a Loyola University Maryland female student. Earlier, in May 2016, Witherspoon was convicted for assaulting another woman that prosecutors said he brought to his apartment from Fells Point in 2015. Both women were incapacitated by alcohol, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

In the Laurel case, Witherspoon was found guilty of one count of second-degree rape, two counts of second-degree sexual offense and one count of second-degree assault.

The victim, who testified in court, said that on Sept. 6, 2014, she was at Power Plant Live in Baltimore and became ill and incapacitated by alcohol. She said she became separated from her group, and recalled being escorted out by a security guard. She said the next thing she remembered was being sexually assaulted.

She identified Witherspoon as her assailant, according to the county State’s Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said DNA evidence connected him to the crime.

Colleen McGuinn, an assistant Howard state’s attorney, alleged that Witherspoon’s “signature,” was to sit outside of Power Plant Live “waiting for impaired women.” He would then take them home and assault them, she said.

Public defenders Ian Anthony and Joshua Speer contended in court that the victim’s memory had been affected by her drinking. Neither could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Retired Howard County Circuit Court Judge Raymond J. Kane said evidence made it clear the victim had been too impaired to give her consent.

Kane set a sentencing date of Jan. 28, according to the county State’s Attorney’s Office.

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