For Immediate Release 5/8/2015
Nelson Clifford, 36, faces Life in prison after a jury found him guilty of two counts of third degree sex offenses.
On September 30, 2007, the victim in this case woke up to find Clifford lying on the floor next to her bed. When she tried to escape, Clifford forced her to lie down. He then tied her hands up with a belt, started to fondle her, and continued to sexually assault her. Once the attack was over, the victim freed herself and immediately called 911.
Clifford was also found guilty of theft for stealing the victim’s laptop and money from her apartment.
“The rebuttal of consensual sex as a defense used by individuals with a pattern of predatory behavior has been a high priority for my office, “ said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “I applaud the brave survivor in this case for coming forward and testifying about this heinous offense. It is never easy for anyone to relive a crime committed against them, but it is especially hard for those who have been sexually assaulted. It was her courage that brought this victorious verdict. While we were able to secure a guilty verdict in this case, we must still encourage our legislators in Annapolis to bring our predatory sexual assault laws in line with the federal statute.”
Although third degree sex offense carries a maximum sentence of ten years, Clifford faces an enhanced penalty up to life in prison as a result of prior convictions.
Clifford will be sentenced May 28, 2015.