Baltimore cop convicted of raping a woman sentenced to home detention

A Maryland police officer convicted of raping a woman after offering her a ride home from a bar, and assaulting another has been spared prison time after a judge suspended most of his 15-year sentence and ordered him to spend the remainder of the term on house detention pending an appeal.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Keith Truffer handed down his ruling in the case of police officer Anthony Westerman sentence on Friday, sparking outrage among prosecutors and victim advocates.

Westerman, 27, was convicted in August of two counts of second-degree rape and related charges for attacking a 22-year-old woman in October 2017. He was also found guilty to second-degree assault of another woman in June 2019. 

But at sentencing, Judge Truffer throw out one of the convictions, saying he had intended to find him guilty on only one rape count, after concluding that there was no evidence that the victim suffered psychological damage. 

He then combined the sentences for the remaining five counts into one and imposed a 15-year prison term on Westerman, but suspended all but four years, which he will be allowed to serve at home while appealing his convictions. 

The cop’s home detention will be followed by probation. 

Baltimore County cop Anthony Westerman, 27, convicted of raping a woman in 2017 and assaulting another in 2019, will likely spend four years on home detention for his crimes 

the judge also sentenced Westerman to a single day in jail for the second-degree assault of the victim in the 2019 case for what he described as a ‘boorish’ act, prosecutors said.

Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said Westerman most likely will not spend any time behind bars beyond that one day because the appeals process is lengthy.    

Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said Westerman's sentence was inappropriate and will discourage victims of sexual abuse from coming forward

Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said Westerman’s sentence was inappropriate and will discourage victims of sexual abuse from coming forward  

Shellenberger criticized the judge’s ruling, arguing that the sentence was inappropriate, given the severity of the charges, and that it sends the wrong message.  

‘I fear this could cause rape victims to hesitate to report their crimes if they do not feel like they will get justice,’ he said.  

Shellenberger also pushed back against the judge’s argument that the rape victim showed no proof of psychological damage, simply because the prosecution did not submit a letter from her psychologist. 

‘She has been in counseling ever since this incident happened, so I didn’t really think there was dispute about the fact that there was psychological damage,’ the prosecutor said. 

Dorothy Lenning, an attorney with House of Ruth, a non-profit group advocating for victims of domestic violence, expressed concerns about the negative implications of Westerman’s light sentence.

‘I think this is what makes it so hard for victims, particularly of sex crimes to come forward because I think it feels to the victim like nothing happened to this man, Lenning said.

After the sentencing, Westerman’s attorney, Brian Thompson, released a statement to the media, praising Judge Truffer for doing ‘the right thing by not sending him to prison.’ 

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Keith Truffer (pictured) handed down the sentence after concluding that one of the victims failed to show proof of psychological damage stemming from the assault

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Keith Truffer (pictured) handed down the sentence after concluding that one of the victims failed to show proof of psychological damage stemming from the assault 

But the attorney argued that the guilty verdict ‘was against the weight of evidence’ and vowed to appeal.   

‘This was a “he said, she said” case in which everyone was intoxicated,’ Thompson wrote. ‘The alleged victim waited over two years to report this to the police. The claim that she was unconscious is not true. She admitted under oath that she was not only conscious, but that she engaged in sexual acts that are highly inconsistent with a non-consensual encounter. 

‘We intend to appeal this conviction and we will not rest until Officer Westerman’s name is cleared.’

Westerman was hired by the Baltimore County Police Department in 2013. He was suspended without pay after he was charged in 2019. 

The Special Victims Unit opened the investigation into Westerman in October 2019, after police received a tip accusing him of sexual misconduct. 

The investigation uncovered that between October 2017 and June 2019, Westerman rape a woman who was drunk and was looking to the officer to deliver her safely home, and assault another. 

Westerman was also suspected of trying to kiss a woman against her will.

According to court records cited by The Baltimore Sun, on October 4, 2017, Westerman and two female friends were drinking at a bar when one of the women became so drunk that she passed out in her car parked outside the establishment.

Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III told Christopher Belter, 20, (pictured) - who previously pleaded guilty to felony charges of rape and of sexual abuse in 2019 - on Tuesday that prison time would be 'inappropriate'

Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III told Christopher Belter, 20, (pictured) – who previously pleaded guilty to felony charges of rape and of sexual abuse in 2019 – on Tuesday that prison time would be ‘inappropriate’

The 22-year-old woman later told police that she was awakened by a knock on her window and saw her friend standing with Westerman.

The alleged victim claimed she wished to remain in her car until she was sober enough to drive home, but she said Westerman offered to order an Uber for her and her friend to take them to her home.

Instead, according to the complainant, Westerman had the ride-share driver take the two women to his own house, where he raped the 22-year-old.

On June 8, 2019, a 20-year-old woman, who reportedly considered Westerman to be like a brother to her, was asleep in a guest room at the officer’s house after a night of drinking when she said the cop forced himself on her.

The victim said she did not immediately report the rape because Westerman is a police officer.   

Two weeks later, Westerman was at a birthday party with another 22-year-old woman when he allegedly pulled her aside to a secluded area.

The victim said she thought Westerman was going to share with her how he was planning to propose to his girlfriend. Instead, the officer allegedly grabbed and tried to kiss the woman twice, before she left the event with a family member.

The judge on Friday threw out Westreman’s rape conviction stemming from the 2019 encounter with the 20-year-old woman.

Judge Truffer was appointed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, in January 2016. He won election to his seat on November 8, 2016.

Prior to becoming a judge, Truffer was a partner in a Maryland law firm.   

Westerman’s sentencing took place just days after a judge in upstate New York sparked a widespread outrage when he sentenced 20-year-old Christopher Beltran to eight years of probation for raping four teenage girls at his parents’ home. 

Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III, 69, told Belter on Tuesday that prison time would be ‘inappropriate.’    

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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