TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A former Baltimore County police officer was sentenced Friday to house arrest for the 2017 rape of a 22-year-old woman, authorities said.
Officer Anthony Westerman, 27, was convicted in August of two counts of second-degree rape, one count of a third-degree sexual offense, one count of fourth-degree sexual offense and one count of second-degree assault, according to a search of online court records.READ MORE: Health Officials Urge Vaccination & Boosters As COVID-19 Rate Rises, Omicron Arrives In Maryland
Westerman was suspended without pay from the Baltimore County Police Department after the police department learned of his charges in December 2019. A department spokesperson on Monday said Westerman has been fired.
At Friday’s sentencing hearing, Baltimore County Circuit Judge Keith Truffer withdrew one of the rape convictions and combined the sentences for the remaining counts, saying he had only intended to convict Westerman on one count of second-degree rape. He sentenced Westerman to 15 years behind bars but suspended all but four years of home detention.
The judge also sentenced Westerman to a day in jail for the second-degree assault of a second victim for what he characterized as a “boorish” act, according to the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office. He was also ordered to serve probation following the completion of his sentence.
Before handing down Westerman’s sentence, Judge Truffer said there was no evidence of psychological injury to the rape victim, despite the victim’s indication that she had sought therapy since the attack and the judge’s previous statements that the incident “may be the most traumatic moment” of her life.
The judge determined that Westerman should be released on home detention pending the appeal of his convictions.READ MORE: Maryland Has Three Confirmed Cases Of The Omicron Variant Of COVID-19, Hogan Says
Speaking with WJZ on Monday, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said his office was expecting a stricter sentence.
“By the Judge taking away one of the counts and not finding that there was a psychological injury, it lowered the guidelines,” he wrote in an email. “Nonetheless the guideline sentence should have been an imposed sentence of 5 to 10 years imprisonment.”
The county’s top prosecutor said he did not think home detention was an appropriate sentence and expressed concern over the message it sends to other sexual assault survivors.
“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.
According to court records reviewed by WJZ, Westerman and a 22-year-old woman had been drinking at a bar in October 2017 when the officer called a rideshare to take them back to his home. The intoxicated victim said she passed out. When she awoke, she said, Westerman was forcing himself on her.
In a separate incident nearly two years later, Westerman led a woman to a secluded part of a Baltimore County bar, placed his hand on her waist and started kissing her without permission, WJZ reported.MORE NEWS: Jury Watches Interrogation Video In Murder Trial For Keith Smith, Who Blamed Panhandler For Wife's Death