Crime, Police/Fire

Edgewood man receives maximum sentence on attempted rape, drug charges

EDGEWOOD, MD—An Edgewood man will spend decades behind bars after being convicted on rape and drug charges.

On Monday, December 4, Bernard Lamont Staten, 68, pled guilty to attempted second-degree rape and possession with intent to distribute cocaine in two separate cases before the Honorable Judge Diane Adkins-Tobin. Both pleas were binding plea agreements, and Staten will be sentenced to 30 years to serve on December 18, the maximum of 20 years to serve on the attempted rape charge and 10 years to serve consecutive on the drug charge, which was above the sentencing guidelines.

Facts presented to the court in support of both guilty pleas revealed that on January 24, 2023, a woman was stranded on the side of the road, awaiting a tow truck. Despite not knowing her, Staten offered to give her a ride to her home in Westminster. He instead traveled to the Motel 6 in Edgewood. He then grabbed her arm, removing her from the truck and taking her into a room he had rented at that hotel. Once inside the room, he pushed her onto the bed and attempted to engage in sexual intercourse with her.

The victim attempted to scream and refused his advances, and Staten placed a pillow over her face to quiet her while he tried to remove her pants continuing to indicate his desire to engage in sexual intercourse. The victim continued to yell and began kicking the wall and elsewhere to fight off the Defendant, and eventually, she believed she kicked him in the groin area, which allowed her to run out of the room.

Once out of the room, she got the attention of a guest in another room, who contacted law enforcement on her behalf. Staten tried to lure the victim back into his vehicle, a Chevrolet Avalanche, by telling her that he had her wedding rings which he had removed from her finger in the truck, and she should come retrieve them, which the victim refused to do.

Harford County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies responded to the scene, and later the Criminal Investigations Division pursued the investigation. On January 26, 2023, detectives executed a search warrant on the Chevrolet Avalanche belonging to Staten where they located the victim’s rings. In addition to the rings, the detectives also located over 13 grams of crack cocaine in individually wrapped bags in the vehicle and over $965 in cash on the Defendant’s person when he was arrested. The quantity of the cocaine and other circumstances indicated that the Defendant possessed the cocaine with the intent to distribute that substance resulting in the second case.

At the conclusion of the plea proceedings, State’s Attorney Alison M. Healey, who prosecuted this case, stated “Given the Defendant’s age, a thirty-year sentence in these cases ensures that the community will never again be at risk to be victimized by this Defendant. In addition, it also continues our message to our community that we will not tolerate these acts of violence, distribution of drugs, or any type of crime for that matter in Harford County. I commend the victim in this case for her strength on the night of this incident and hope that she will feel safe knowing that Mr. Staten is no longer a threat to her or this community.”

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

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