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County man convicted of raping woman, 77

CONVICTION, A11

By EARL KELLY
Journal staff writer

A Tobytown man faces up to three consecutive life sentences plus 35 years in prison after a jury convicted him yesterday of rape, sex crimes, burglary and theft.

The jury found Raymond Davis Wilson, 38, guilty on all charges after only two hours' deliberation.

"I think we put on the case in a logical, chronological order that the jury could follow to a conclusion that Mr. Wilson was guilty," Assistant State's Attorney Debra Dwyer said.

Wilson's attorney, Leonard R. Stamm, attacked the prosecution's DNA evidence so methodically that several defense attorneys monitored the trial.

"I've never seen DNA testing questioned in such detail," Dwyer said.

Wilson's attorney said he would appeal the verdict.

Wilson, also known as Raymond Davis, entered the attic of a house on Pennyfield Lock Road in Potomac soon after midnight Dec. 12, 1997, and entered the living area of the house by using a fold-down ladder built into the ceiling.

The jury found that Wilson raped and sexually assaulted the victim - who gave her age as 73, though prosecutors said she is 77 - and took $400 from her.

The victim scratched Wilson's face and hands and said she bit his penis "as hard as I could."

Witnesses testified they saw Wilson with scratches on his face and hands and a "wad" of money, but a police officer who examined Wilson 10 days after the incident said he did not reveal bite marks.

Wilson wore a ski mask, a police officer said, and the victim never identified him. Also, even though the victim said her assailant did not wear gloves, Wilson's fingerprints never appeared in the house.

A tracking dog led a police officer to Wilson's neighborhood, but did not take him to Wilson's house, which was about a mile from the crime scene.

DNA testing proved to be strong evidence in the case, Dwyer said. DNA results "exclude 99.9998 percent of the population" and indicate Wilson was the one person in 50 million who could have committed the attack, a DNA analyst testified.

But Stamm said the DNA testing was flawed, especially since one suspect in the case, Wilson's brother, would have DNA similar to Wilson's.

Furthermore, Stamm argued in cross examination that some of the tools used in the DNA testing were not cleaned between opening each vial of samples, thereby increasing the likelihood of contamination.

He also argued that lab procedures permitted technicians to handle DNA samples from different cases at the same time.

"I'm surprised by the verdict, especially since the DNA had more holes in it than Swiss cheese," Stamm said outside the courtroom.

DNA collected in this case also ties Wilson to an unsolved 1991 Gaithersburg rape, prosecutors say, and Dwyer said she plans to pursue that case against Wilson.

Stamm said he will be defending Wilson in the pending rape trial.

Wilson has a lengthy criminal record, and the rape on Pennyfield Lock Road took place about two weeks after Wilson was released from the Montgomery County Detention Center in Rockville, after serving five years for violating probation on a previous theft charge, according to court records.