Anthony Westerman, a former police office whom raped a 22-year-old woman was sentenced, on Friday, to home detention
Former Baltimore police officer Anthony Westerman was convicted of second-degree rape and second-degree assault back in August 2021.
Westerman was convicted in August of two counts of second-degree rape, third-degree sexual offense, fourth-degree sexual offense and two counts of second-degree assault for incidents from 2017 and 2019 with two separate women, according to the statement. The cases were tried at the same time.
Prosecutors said Officer Anthony Westerman was off duty at the time of the rapes and assaults. He has been held on home detention until his sentencing in November.
On Friday, a judge sentenced Westerman to 15 years in prison. However, that sentence was suspended and the final sentence given is four years in home detention, the Baltimore County state’s attorney said in a statement. Westerman will then be on probation after his home detention.
The sentence left Shellenberger and the victim stunned. Shellenberger said the judge himself handed down convictions on two rape charges at the trial in August and then rescinded one of those convictions on Monday.
At Friday’s sentencing hearing, the judge withdrew one of the rape convictions, the state’s attorney said. Westerman, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, is appealing the convictions.
Westerman was suspended without pay from the Baltimore County Police Department after he was charged in 2019, a spokesperson for the department confirmed to CBS News, adding that he was fired on Monday.
“This criminal investigation, initiated by the Baltimore County Police Department, is an example of our commitment to holding individuals responsible for their actions,” Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said in a statement to CBS News.
The first incident happened in 2017 when Westerman and a 22-year-old woman were among a group drinking at a bar called White Marsh. According to an arrest warrant, the victim had consumed “a large amount of alcohol” and passed out in her car. Westerman and a friend of the victim woke her up and Westerman offered to order an Uber to take them back to the friend’s home.
According to the warrant, both the victim and her friend had fallen asleep during the Uber ride, which they shared with Westerman and one of his male friends, and when they woke up, they were at Westerman’s residence. While inside, the victim fell asleep on the couch while Westerman, his friend and the victim’s friend watched a movie. The two friends eventually left the room when Westerman put on a pornographic movie.
“Because he was buying her shots and alcohol — and getting her drunk — it really did appear to be planned assault because not only did he get her drunk, but then he took her back to his place and then he assaulted her when she was unconscious, so clearly a predator that needs to be off the streets,” Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said.
The next thing the victim remembered, according to the warrant, “was being in the middle of the couch and she was on her back” with Westerman on top of her. Her pants had been removed, and then he raped her, saying that he “liked it when she pushed at him and when she told him to stop and get off,” according to the warrant. The victim then passed out and she and her friend left when she awoke, according to the warrant.
In 2019, a 20-year-old woman who considered Westerman “to be her big brother” accused him of raping her, according to the arrest warrant. Westerman was acquitted of those charges, according to the Baltimore Sun.
About two weeks after the 2019 incident, a third woman accused Westerman of repeatedly trying to kiss her at a bar. That incident led to his other assault conviction.
Westerman’s attorney, Brian Thompson, said in a statement to CBS News that Westerman and his family are “relieved that the judge did the right thing by not sending him to prison while the appeal is pending.”
“Officer Westerman maintains his innocence,” Thompson said. “We believe that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence and that he will ultimately be exonerated.”.
At Friday’s sentencing, Baltimore County Circuit Judge Keith Truffer said there was no evidence of any psychological injury to the rape victim, despite her indicating she received therapy following the incident and the judge saying at the time of the verdict that the incident “may be the most traumatic moment of” her life, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said in a statement Monday.
“The victim did tell everyone — 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, but candidly we didn’t have a letter from the psychologist, but we very often don’t and it really was not a dispute that she has been, in fact, in counseling,” he said