The Herald Bulletin

June 14, 2013

Admitted rapist receives three-year sentence

Man's request to reverse guilty plea denied

By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — A man who admitted to impersonating a police officer in order to rape a young woman in July 2012 was sentenced on Friday.

Terry L. Duckworth, 67, received a three-year sentence for the Class D felony of sexual battery, a significant reduction in charge from a Class B felony of criminal deviate conduct he was also facing. The Class B felony was dropped May 28 when Duckworth accepted a plea deal for admitting to the attack.

But the deal was apparently not good enough for Duckworth at sentencing Friday, when he asked for the guilty plea to be voided so he could go to trial.

According to police reports of the incident on July 6, 2012, Duckworth approached the 24-year-old Anderson mother at the Town Center Park downtown while she was pushing her 1-year-old in a stroller. He commented on how attractive the woman was, but she spurned all of his advances, including an offer of $100 for food.

Duckworth followed the woman back to her apartment, forced his way inside and raped her. The man told her he was an Anderson police officer, and threatened to charge her with prostitution if she did not obey him. Duckworth had just been released from prison five months prior after a previous conviction.

"I want to reverse my plea. I want a chance to talk to the media. I want to get my side of the story out there," Duckworth said at the hearing. "I've been made out to be a monster and she's been made out to be an angel. It's been all about my character and not hers. It's not right. I need time to digest what's happened."

Even Duckworth's attorney, Zaki Ali, said he didn't think it was in the man's best interest to withdraw his plea, considering the deal he brokered.

But Duckworth insisted, breaking court procedure several times at the hearing and drawing reprimands from Madison Circuit Court 4 Judge David Happe, who denied the request and said he's satisfied Duckworth was fairly processed. Duckworth said he's convinced he wouldn't get a fair trial in Madison County.

"You're not getting any trial," Happe said. "You've already pleaded guilty."

Happe said Duckworth's lack of remorse and denigration of the victim added to the aggravating factors in the case, and leveled the state-recommended three-year sentence.

The man has an extensive criminal background. He was charged in the 1979 slaying of Pamela Boles in Lapel. Duckworth attempted to abscond to Florida, but was arrested and returned to Anderson. A jury later found him not guilty. More recently, Duckworth pleaded guilty in 2008 to threatening to kill his neighbors in Elwood. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

According to police reports, a similar sexual assault case was reported to police on Jan. 6, 2012. It’s unclear if the two cases were related, but the description of the attacker and the methods used were similar.

The victim of the July attack was presented with a lineup of six photos, including one of Duckworth, which the woman immediately recognized as her attacker. She made the identification two weeks after the attack, but due to a lack of physical evidence an arrest was not made until September 2012.

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