18-year-old sentenced to 74 years for rape, other crimes in Northampton County

(Delmarvanow.com) -- An 18-year-old Northampton County man will spend more than three decades in prison for a rape and other crimes he committed when a juvenile.

Frederick Baker was 16 when he raped and sodomized a 21-year-old woman in a Cape Charles park on Oct. 2, 2015.

After his arrest and incarceration in the Eastern Shore Regional Jail, Baker accumulated additional charges, including for assaults on law enforcement officers at the jail.

Circuit Judge W. Revell Lewis III on Monday sentenced Baker to a total of 74 1/2 years in prison, with 40 years suspended, meaning he will be more than 50 years old when he completes his active sentence.

He also will be required to register as a violent sex offender and will remain on indefinite supervised probation.

Baker in a plea agreement with the Commonwealth in July pleaded guilty to rape, abduction and forcible sodomy — all committed while he threatened the terrified victim with a pistol he had stolen from his grandfather.

Baker also admitted damaging and trying to escape from the Eastern Shore Regional Jail.

Lewis sentenced him to 69 years with all but 29 years suspended on the rape, sodomy and abduction charges along with related firearms charges, and to another year on the jail damage and attempted escape charges.

In a separate set of charges related to incidents during his incarceration, the judge sentenced Baker to consecutive terms of six months on each of five counts of assaulting a police officer and one year each on two counts of threatening to kill a police officer.

That added another 4 1/2 years to Baker's sentence, meaning he will serve a total of 34 1/2 years in prison.

He pleaded guilty to those crimes in March 2017.

Northampton Commonwealth's Attorney Bruce Jones asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence, noting the heinous nature of the crimes and saying Baker is a danger to society, especially to women.

Jones said he did so sorrowfully, noting, "In addition to being a perpetrator, he is a victim, as we have heard."

Still, Baker "has unambiguously proven" that he continues to be a threat to society, Jones said, noting Baker almost a year after the incident had told a doctor interviewing him for the court that he should have killed his rape victim.

Jones reviewed Baker's history of hospitalizations and other treatment, starting at age 4, for "his violent and aggressive behavior," as detailed in a pre-sentence report.

At age 9, he set fires in a home and urinated on the floor in random places, along with assaulting others without provocation in treatment facilities, Jones said.

At age 14, he tried to rape his stepmother, according to testimony and the pre-sentence report.

That resulted in a year-long stay at a mental health treatment facility in Leesburg, Virginia.

Baker was still on probation for that offense when he committed the crimes for which he is now being sentenced, Jones said.

Tidewater Detention Center, the Norfolk facility where Baker was detained after his 2015 arrest on the rape and other charges, asked to have Baker transferred to an adult facility because of his behavior — "the only time, I think, this ever happened in my career," said Jones, who has served as Northampton County's Commonwealth's Attorney for decades.

"He is profoundly dangerous ... He has no respect for women," Jones said.

Defense attorney Tucker Watson on Monday called several witnesses — including Baker's father, a mental health professional, and Baker himself — to testify about Baker's troubled childhood, which included sexual and physical abuse by his mother from an early age.

Mental health therapist Matthew Viyera, who treated Baker at the Leesburg facility, said the teen was diagnosed with various disorders, including ADHD and bipolar disorder, and had been the victim of sexual and physical abuse and of neglect.

"I feel like it definitely affected his overall ideas at the time of what was healthy and unhealthy," he said of the abuse.

Baker's father, Daniel Baker, said his son's mother had a drug problem and had abandoned him when he was very young. Frederick Baker has not seen his mother since he was 7, he said.

After his father obtained custody of him, Frederick Baker told his father's then-girlfriend that his mother had sexually abused him, including her having had sex with men in front of the boy.

Daniel Baker described the home where his son had been living, saying, "It might as well have been a dumpster," with "crack pipes lying around the house," piles of dirty dishes and dirty clothes, and no food in the house.

"They were using T-shirts for toilet paper," he said.

Daniel Baker said as result of the abuse, his son has "a hateful spitefulness towards women."

He said after his son returned to live with him and his wife in spring 2015, after his year of treatment, the teen within 3 or 4 months was smoking marijuana, staying out after curfew and otherwise violating the terms of his probation.

He said he asked probation officers to take action to get his son off the streets, but said they did not.

Frederick Baker then took the stand, where he expressed remorse for raping the woman.

"It changed me and other people and I'm sorry about it, but I messed up. I wish I could take it back. ... I kind of went through the same thing when I was younger," he said.

Baker said on the day of the rape, he had smoked marijuana, done cocaine and drunk alcohol.

About the assaults and threats he made to guards during his jail stay, Baker said, "My anger gets the better of me sometimes — being locked up in that small cell, I get frustrated."

Delmarvanow.com


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