Thursday, May 21, 2009

Upstate NY man sentenced to 16-18 years for rape

Harold E. McCloud III, 29, of Malone, NY, was sentenced to 16 to 18 years in prison and 20 years post release supervision Monday, May 18 for the rape, beating, and choking (manual strangulation) of his ex-girlfriend before stealing her debit card.

Besides rape in the 1st degree, McCloud's felony convictions include second-degree attempted assault, grand larceny, and identity theft. $11,000 of fines and fees were imposed. Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne characterised McCloud as a rapist who may qualify for civil commitment after his prison sentence is over, and as a serial abuser of ex-"girlfriends" who has victimized at least 4 other times.

"I'm obviously very pleased with the court sentencing the defendant to such a long period of time. I am absolutely convinced he has victimized other women in the North Country. The other accusations are highly credible and very detailed and of a very similar nature."

McCloud's lawyer, Greg La Duke of Lake Placid, said he plans to appeal the verdict based on a number of grounds. One, he said, is that some of the charges that should have been severed because, La Duke said, they were different criminal acts were instead charged bundled together, which he said prejudiced the jury.

Also, La Duke said, "The complainant said she was strangled three times on either July 16 or July 17. So that's problematic. She says the third time she was strangled, she was strangled so hard she thought she was going to die and it seemed to last forever, but, ironically, there wasn't a bruise on her."

Champagne admitted that the police report was filed some time after the attack, but said that numerous witnesses, including a nurse who treated the victim, saw the woman's injuries.

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