Frederick Baker of Cape Charles was convicted on October 2, 2015 for rape of a 21-year-old cyclist near the park in Cape Charles. Subsequently on July 21, 2016 he was convicted at age 16 of raping his stepmother.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Bruce Jones told the court that the cyclist’s family had moved to California because they could no longer continue to look over the park were their daughter was raped.
Northampton County deputy Sgt. Stevens testified about the additional charges that included 5 counts of assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, 2 counts of threatening to kill a law enforcement officer, attempting to escape from the Eastern Shore Regional Jail, and damaging the correction facility. The earlier charges, of which Baker had been found guilty, included abduction, rape, use of a firearm while committing rape, sodomy, use of a firearm while committing sodomy, and stealing of a gun.
At Monday’s sentencing hearing, the therapist from North Spring mental institution in Leesburg testified that he believed the defendant was scarred by his mother who had sexually abused him as a young child. The defendant’s father, Daniel Baker, testified that the mother had full custody after their separation and was into drugs before abandoning him at age 7. Daniel testified that she was bathing with Fredrick and having sex with other men in front of him. Daniel told the court that he and his second wife had forgiven Frederick for the offenses that occurred on July 21, 2016.
The defendant testified that he had remorse and wished he could take it all back but he simply got mixed with the wrong crowd who used drugs and alcohol. On cross-examination, Jones asked the defendant if he ever made the statement he wished he had killed the victims because it would of been simpler. Baker responded that he never joined the Army because he could never kill anyone but did admit saying those words.
In his closing argument, Jones told the court that this defendant’s offenses were horrific and very profound. He reminded the court that the park rape was that of a 21-year-old with a gun to her head and that her life had been extremely downgraded and that she would never recover. Jones gave a brief summary that said the defendant was hospitalized at age four for violent behavior, at age 9 he set his home on fire, at age 13 he was in Family Court, at 14 he attempted to rape his stepmother while he was on probation for the previous rape which he had stolen a gun before committing. Jones then told the court that never in his career had the juvenile detention center in Norfolk said to a defendant that they could not handle his juvenile case, but that is exactly what the juvenile center said about Frederick Baker. Baker was retained in the Eastern Shore Regional Jail through his trials and awaiting sentencing. Finally Jones told the court that there was simply no reason to believe when released that this defendant would not commit new offenses. He deserved the maximum sentence to protect society.
In a very lengthy closing statement Defense attorney Tucker Watson stated that he did not have the appropriate answer, but this young man was highly troubled after being sexually abused by his mother and that there was no way to determine what short-term or long-term effect that would have on Baker. Watson asked the court to consider that the defendant was abused when he was 8 years old, that he was only 16 years old when the offense occurred, understanding that all of these were serious crimes and he deserved serious time. Watson stated to the court that the midpoint of the guidelines was 32 years but he was asking to go below the guidelines due to the circumstances of these cases.
Jones then responded stating to the court that all the medical examinations had determined that this defendant was likely to be a high risk of repeating his offenses.
Judge Lewis told the defendant that he understood that he had a difficult childhood and that it was hard to imagine what it must of been like, but he had had intense therapy with all kinds of treatments that simply did not sink in, but he was not going to sentence him to the maximum sentence. Lewis then sentenced the defendant to 66 years for the sexual and firearm cases and 8 ½ more years for the offenses that occurred in the jail totaling 74 ½ years of incarceration with all but 34 ½ years suspended. The defendant was then remanded to the custody Sheriff to be transported to the state penitentiary.