TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County police officer Anthony Westerman was sentenced Friday to house arrest for the 2017 rape of a 22-year-old woman, authorities said.
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: Michigan Matters: Two Stars With Motor City Ties Lighting Up Entertainment World
At Friday’s sentencing hearing, Baltimore County Circuit Judge Keith Truffer combined the sentences for all five 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.READ MORE: MDHHS Updates COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance For Michigan Schools
The judge determined that Westerman should be released on home detention pending the appeal of his convictions.
Speaking with WJZ-TV 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.
Westerman was suspended without pay from the Baltimore County Police Department after the police department learned of his charges in December 2019. The status of his employment wasn’t immediately clear Monday.
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.MORE NEWS: More Than 100 Michigan Schools Close Due To Copycat Threats After Oxford High Shooting
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.