By Eric Beasley
Editor’s Note: I am happy to report that we have received our first anonymous hate mail as a response to our ongoing series of articles about sentencing decisions made by Judge Theresa Adams. Unfortunately, the anonymous person was unwilling to defend sentencing pedophiles to horrendously short prison sentences.
Our next case is 10-K-17-060217, State of Maryland v. Matthew Anduce. While reviewing this case file, I found it impossible to capture screenshots of the charging documents without identifiable information. Therefore, I will be summarizing the crime for you, to protect the identity of the victim. It is also worth noting that the sentence for the crime was handed down in February of 2018, less than 2 years ago.
At the time of the crime, Mr. Anduce was 22 years old. He communicated with a 14 year old girl through Instagram over the course of many weeks, pretending to be a 17 year old boy. Throughout this communication, Mr. Anduce was attempting to engage in sexual relations with the 14 year old girl. This culminated in the two meeting in the woods behind her home, where Mr. Anduce forced sexual relations with the young girl. For lack of better phrasing, Mr. Anduce was successful at insertion.
The 14 year old girl was finally able to escape and returned to her home. At home, the young girl’s family did EVERYTHING right to ensure that the crime would be adequately punished. Mr. Anduce was subsequently charged with Sex Offense in the 3rd Degree and sentenced by Judge Theresa Adams.
A brief detour for the readers. Based on the description of the crime, this was a clear case of rape. The perpetrator forced himself upon an underage girl and (again, for lack of better phrasing) forced his penis into her vagina. I asked myself “Why was he not charged with rape?”
The difference between “Rape” and “Sex Offense” in the Maryland statute is whether or not there is a mandatory minimum sentence.
Judge Theresa Adams sentenced Mr. Anduce to 10 years in jail, with all but 18 months suspended.
This crime was not impulsive or from a lack of knowledge. People lie about their ages while dating, and I am sure that any single person on dating apps has seen this before. Mr. Anduce knew that he was pursuing intimate relations with a 14 year old girl, pretended to be someone within her age range. This was a crime committed by a child sexual predator, which knowingly sought out the young girl as his next victim.
I also have to take issue with Assistant State’s Attorney Lindell K. Angel on this case, which recommended the 18 month sentence. However, she made a recommendation and there is no law which mandates that a Judge listen to the recommendation of an involved attorney.
As with every article, ask yourself these questions:
- Should a sexual predator who misled and preyed on a 14 year old girl be sentenced to 18 months in jail?
- Why did ASA Lindell Angel recommend such a light sentence?
- Did Judge Theresa Adams make the right sentencing decision when she followed the prosecutor’s recommendation?
- How many more cases exist in which Judge Theresa Adams handed down such weak sentences?
- If you were at home and your daughter came home stating that she was just raped, how long do you believe the perpetrator should be in jail?