A Maryland police officer convicted of raping a woman and assaulting another is unlikely to see any more time behind bars after a judge suspended his sentence, according to prosecutors. Judge Keith Truffer suspended all but four years of Anthony Westerman’s 15-year prison term on Friday, ruling the officer would also be allowed to serve his detention at home pending an appeal. Truffer said there was no evidence of any “psychological injury to the victim,” despite calling her rape possibly “the most traumatic moment” of her life.
Speaking to NBC News, State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said the sentence was “not appropriate,” particularly for a police officer. “I fear this could cause rape victims to hesitate to report their crimes if they do not feel like they will get justice,” he added. Shellenberger said Westerman’s time at home will count towards time served, and that the appeal process will likely be a lengthy one.
Westerman, 27, was convicted on Friday on counts of rape and assault of a 22-year-old woman, after he offered her a ride home from a bar in October 2017. He was also convicted of assaulting another woman in June 2019. Truffer sentenced him to one day in jail for the latter conviction, which the judge described as a “boorish” act, according to prosecutors.