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Hagerstown Man Found Guilty of Rape and Violent Assault

Prosecutors in Washington County said Montague Sutherland was convicted Wednesday of a violent rape that happened in Hagerstown last year.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - A Hagerstown man could spend the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted of rape and a violent assault Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court, according to prosecutors.

The crime happened in March of 2013 at an apartment off the 900 block of Security Road. Officials said the victim was sleeping when Montague S. Sutherland, 26, broke into her home.  She told investigators she tried to get away but that Sutherland strangled her, held a knife to her throat and told her he would kill her.

During the attack, the victim was raped and physically assaulted according to court records. She had two lacerations on her forearm, and a puncture wound to the back of her thigh. Following the attack, police said Sutherland doused the victim in bleach.

"And despite the fact that he doused her in bleach we were still, through the safe nurse, able to get a swab of his DNA which was analyzed by the State Crime Laboratory,” said Gina Cirincion, Assistant State’s Attorney for Washington County. “We were pretty shocked that we were able to get evidence because of everything he had done to destroy the evidence.”

Sutherland was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree rape, first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, theft, reckless endangerment among other charges. First-degree rape carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

"Well this is an important case, we had a predator out there and we needed to catch him and once we caught him, we needed to convict him. It was a huge public safety issue here but also just giving justice to the victim was the thing that drove us all," said Cirincion. 

Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. ordered that a pre-sentence investigation be conducted before Sutherland is sentenced. 

Prosecutors said they are asking for a life sentence. They said a sentencing date would be scheduled following an investigation.

"The brutal nature of this crime, the previous criminal history, which suggests that this is a violent offender, and we believe that a life sentence is appropriate given all the elements of this crime,” said Cirincion.


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