For Immediate Release 1/12/2015
A 30 year prison sentence for Ms. Tycheika Hartwill was handed down by Judge Charles Peters on January 5th, for her central role in a gang rape of a 17 year old female at a Halloween party in 2013. Hartwill was convicted of a First Degree Sex Offense and was also found guilty of facilitating three additional First Degree Rapes. Mr. Artez Watson— who plead guilty to First Degree Rape— and Mr. Bernard Bell— a cooperating witness for the State— were also involved in the attack, and were co-defendants at trial.
Hartwill hosted the Halloween party where the attack occurred in the 1500 block of E. Cold Spring Lane. She also provided the survivor (not named because she is a minor) with several shots of alcohol. The survivor became heavily intoxicated and went to sleep on a couch in Hartwill’s basement. The survivor woke up naked and restrained by Hartwill in a bedroom, while an unknown man sexually assaulted her from behind.
The attack escalated when the survivor vomited on Hartwill’s bed. Enraged, Hartwill recruited four other men, including Watson and Bell, to participate in the assault.
Robert Perkins, a Special Victims Unit Assistant State’s Attorney, tried the case after it was re-assigned to him one month before trial. The survivor’s testimony was instrumental to the State’s case. Perkins said the young woman, who is currently enrolled at a local university, showed great courage by deciding to return to Baltimore to testify against Hartwill, Watson, and Bell in court.
“The general perception is that rape is committed by men and not women,” Perkins said. “But in this case the jury was able to look past that perception, and see the despicable acts for what they were.”
“Baltimore prosecutors have the toughest job in America. Robert’s work is just another example of the tremendous amount of talent we have in this organization—and I hope that this case inspires other sexual assault survivors to bring their attackers to justice.” Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said.
Perkins credited Baltimore Police Detective Christopher Rivera for his exceptional work interviewing witnesses after the attack was reported, and providing a compelling body of evidence to present to the jury at trial.
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