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Hotel Sex Assault Suspect Gets 95 Year Sentence

by ARLnow.com — November 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm 5,089 29 Comments

(Updated at 2:35 p.m.) A man accused of breaking into an Arlington hotel room and victimizing two female tourists has been found guilty.

Storme Gary Swann, 51, was accused of binding two women — a mother, 73, and a daughter, 51, who were visiting from Canada — then sexually assaulting one of them (the daughter). He also robbed them of cash, jewelry and electronics.

Swann was arrested two years ago, on November 24, 2010. Yesterday, jury found Swann guilty and recommend a whopping 95 year sentence, based in part on his prior criminal convictions.

From an Arlington County Police Department press release:

On November 15, 2012, after a three day trial, an Arlington County Circuit Court jury found Storme Gary Swann, 51, formerly of La Plata, Maryland, guilty of two counts of robbery, two counts of abduction, and one count of statutory burglary. The offenses occurred on August 14, 2010, when Swann broke into a hotel room in the 2400 block of South Glebe Road. He then forcibly assaulted, detained, and bound two female tourists – a mother, 73 and daughter, 51 – who were visiting from Canada, robbing them of cash, jewelry, and electronics. He also sexually assaulted one of the victims.

After receiving evidence of Swann’s criminal history, which included prior convictions for armed robbery, first-degree sexual assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and kidnapping, the jury recommended a 95 year sentence. Final sentencing is scheduled for February 8, 2013 before Judge Louise DiMatteo. Under Virginia law, the court may impose the recommended sentence or reduce it but cannot increase it.

The investigation was conducted by Sergeant Donald Fortunato of the Arlington County Police Department. Jay E. Burkholder prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia. “Due to the exceptional work of Sergeant Fortunato and other members of the Arlington County Police Department, a dangerous criminal was apprehended,” stated Burkholder. “The victims showed great courage in confronting their attacker. On behalf of Commonwealth’s Attorney Theophani K. Stamos and Police Chief M. Douglas Scott, I am grateful that these brave women were willing to return to our community and relive a terrifying experience in order to prevent Swann from victimizing anyone else. In its verdict and sentence, the jury made clear that violent crime will not be tolerated in Arlington County.”

  • SouthArlJD

    Arlington don’t play when it comes to violent sexual assaults.

    • Right of Center

      Good. One less MD driver flipping over on Columbia Pike.

      • Jack Tors

        True Dat! Why can’t they keep that stuff on the other side of the bridge.

  • J

    Thank you to the two Canadians for making the painful trip back here. You’ve done us a great service.

    • Resident

      +1,000,000

    • Exactly

      +1 Tremendous respect.

      • Tabby_TwoTone

        Ditto.

    • Josh S

      What a strange way of putting it. “You’ve done us a service.” Gosh, I don’t think the emphasis is on the right place with that sentiment…..

  • Mitt Romney

    What’s the offence? I bind women all the time. I have binders full of women.

    • Enough

      Poor taste.

    • NY22

      get a life

    • I must be sick…

      I thought this was kinda funny…

      • I must be sick…

        uh – I’m talking about ‘Mitt Romney’s’ post … NOT the article. Guess I compartmentalized….

  • No Sympathy

    I hope the judge upholds the sentence and that the minimum years he would have to serve let’s him rot and die in prison and never get a shot at parole. And maybe while on the inside he’ll get a taste of his own medicine. Only wish they still had hard labor sentences…make them work off their debt to society and the costs of their trial, incarceration, etc. And no TVs or other luxuries at taxpayer expense. Hard labor for 12 hours a day and then a 6×8 cell with a cot and toilet the other 12 hours.

    • Torquemada

      Sounds good to me.

    • M1911

      More likely he’ll get cable TV, library services, fresh laundry every day, 3 nutritious meals, exercise equipment, counseling services, free health care, a free education if he wants it, money to buy cigarettes, and of course a comfortable bed.

      Now get back to work so you can pay those taxes!

      • Josh S

        It’s so great, people are lining up to get in!!

        Oh, wait, they’re not.

        Cause it’s PRISON.

      • drax

        Cable TV? Not likely. Nutritious meals? Maybe, but probably not exactly gourmet. Money to buy cigs? Only if he earns it or gets it from relatives. Comfortable bed? Sure, a small cot in a tiny cell can be comfortable.

        Get serious.

      • BlueSkies

        Paying more for nutritious meals can mean paying less for healthcare.

    • thedude

      there is no parole in virginia. if the judge accepts the sentence he will serve at least 85% of 95 years, with potentially 15% off for good behavior. not much of a carrot though with a 95 year sentence.

      • Arlingtonian

        “If the judge accepts the sentence”….. Big “if”.

        If the judge is an Arlington liberal, the judge will order a lighter sentence, suspend part of the remainder, place the guy on probation from most of the term, and recommend rehabilitation and restoration of the felon’s voting rights when he leaves the hoosegow in about five years.

        This guy has a history of convictions for serious criminal activities. He should have been in jail at the time that he committed the most recent of his known crimes.

        Based on the above, why should anyone expect that the judge will impose a life sentence for just one more conviction on the guy’s record? The judge will likely decide that, because the guy is not a serial killer or mass murderer, he will benefit from rehabilitation and will become a model citizen.

        • FedUp

          What do you know about judge DiMatteo?

  • Andy

    The minimum sentence the jury could have given was 55 years total since they have to run consecutively, not concurrently. In itself that would be a life sentence for a 51 year old. The increase from there was a combination of the offences being worse than the “minimum” (particularly as it’s the same minimum for the abduction with pecuniary intent and abduction with intent to defile) and the expectation that he would go straight back to crime if released.

  • Just Me

    Thank you to the jury. I am glad I live in a county that does not tolerate violence.

    • Arlingtonian

      Some judges believe in rehabilitation and redemption, especially for criminals who claim that people abused or neglected them during childhood. These judges give short sentences to boht violent and non-violent criminals. Wait and see what the judge does in this trial before concluding that the country “does not tolerate violence”.

  • 24north

    Got what he deserved. Don’t like the word “whopping” associated with the article. Is the writer trying to convey that 95 years is too much?

  • John Andre

    Mighty stiff sentence…the guy must be a real threat to society…they don’t even seem to sentence terrorists like that! I suspect the judge will try to reduce this…wonder if the 95 years is consecutive or concurrent? Any chance of parole?…life without parole would seem to be appropriate here.

  • Liam

    What no one seemed to pick up on was this guy’s previous convictions for 4 or 5 other violent crimes. Why was he out of jail? This guy should have been serving a 25 year sentence the last time he was arrested and never should have been free to commit this most recent crime. What a scum bag. He should get the death sentence for this last one. Why the hell should we pay taxes for this guy to sit in jail watching cable TV for the next 50 years. And yes, they do get cable TV in jail and internet access.

    • http://URL Andy

      None of the charges carry the dealth penalty.

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