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Former Police Officer Sentenced To Home Detention After Rape Conviction
Former Baltimore County police officer Anthony Westerman was convicted of rape, but was given four years of home confinement while he appeals his case, which prosecutors say means he'll likely avoid jail altogether.
A former Baltimore County police officer was sentenced to home detention pending appeal after being convicted of raping a 22-year-old woman while off duty in his home four years ago.
On Friday, Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Keith Truffer sentenced Anthony Michael Westerman, 27, to 15 years in prison, but suspended all but four years of that sentence and allowed him to serve that at home while his attorneys undertake an appeal, according to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney.
In August, Westerman was convicted of two counts of second-degree rape, third-degree sexual offense, fourth-degree sexual offense and second-degree assault of the woman in October of 2017. He was also convicted of second-degree assault involving another woman in June of 2019. Westerman was sentenced to one day in jail for that assault, which Truffer described as “boorish” behavior, according to prosecutors.
At the sentencing hearing, Truffer said that he had only meant to convict Westerman of one count of second-degree rape and merged the sentences together, according to a statement from the State’s Attorney for Baltimore County.
Truffer said there was “not evidence of any psychological injury to the victim,” despite that the fact that she indicated she had received therapy, prosecutors said.
Westerman became the focus of a police investigation in 2019 when at least three women accused him of sexual assault. The women all knew each other and had compared their encounters with the police officer, according to the Baltimore Sun.
In the 2017 rape case, Westerman, met two women in a bar and promised to arrange for an Uber to take them to the second woman’s home, but they ended up at his home. Prosecutors said Westerman raped the woman after she had passed out after drinking too much. The defense claimed that the woman was never unconscious, and this was consensual sex.
In the 2019 incident, Westermann was at a party with another 22-year-old woman. He grabbed and kissed her repeatedly until she left, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The cases were all tried before the judge without a jury. Westerman’s defense attorney Brian Thompson told the paper that his client took that route to avoid a long wait for a trial because of the backlog of cases created by the pandemic.
“The only reason he changed to a court trial after 15 months, there was no end in sight and he wanted to get it behind him,” Thompson said. “But for the pandemic, we would’ve tried those cases separately in front of juries.”
“I’m disappointed in the outcome,” State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger told the Baltimore Sun. “I do not believe when you’re convicted of second-degree rape that home detention is appropriate, and I certainly don’t believe only four years on this kind of crime is appropriate.”
Prosecutors said it’s unlikely that Westerman will serve any jail time because home detention will count toward time serve and the appeals process will be long.
“This was a 'he said, she said' case in which everyone was intoxicated,” Thompson said in a statement to WBAL. “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 suspended without pay once he was charged. On Monday, the department announced in a tweet that he had been terminated.
He was acquitted in the third incident.