Weymouth Man Sentenced 18 to 25 Years for Rape, DNA Key to Solving 1995 Rape
A former Weymouth resident was sentenced today to serve 18 to 25 years in Massachusetts state prison for the aggravated rape of a teenage girl in the rectory of St. Albert’s Church in 1995. He is currently serving a life sentence in a Maryland prison.
William Burton III, 43, was brought back from Maryland to face charges in Norfolk Superior Court after DNA linked him to a 1995 rape in Weymouth, according to Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey.
Authorities made the connection after Burton was arrested in 2010 and eventually convicted of attempted murder in a Maryland attack, with similarities to the Weymouth crime. Burton’s DNA had been entered into a national database as part of that case, and was linked to evidence from the Weymouth rape, according to a press release.
Burton’s Massachusetts sentence would not begin until he is paroled from his Maryland incarceration, where he is serving a life sentence. He is eligible for parole after 15 years.
“We asked for 40 to 50 years on-and-after the Maryland sentence, due to the extreme violence of this crime and the pattern of assaults that is present here,” said District Attorney Morrissey in a statement. The victim in the case, who was 17 at the time of the assault, testified at trial.
“I cannot overstate the courage demonstrated by this woman,” Morrissey said. “She was a very young girl, working part-time answering phones at the rectory, when she was attacked. She helped police at the time and agreed, notwithstanding the passage of time, to persevere until the end. I am extremely gratified for her that the end was just.”
Burton was convicted of aggravated rape and kidnapping after a two-week jury trial. The verdict was reached on Wednesday, Nov. 14 just before 4 p.m. He was sentenced Thursday morning, Nov. 15, 2012, by Judge Susan Garsh.
The jury heard that shortly after 8 p.m. on October 2, 1995, Burton surprised the victim while she was working in the rectory, threw a towel over her head and dragged her into the basement of that building, where he engaged in a prolonged and brutal assault, according to the press release.
“DNA technology made the link here, but this conviction is very much the product of the courage and perseverance of this brave woman,” Morrissey said. “Assistant District Attorney Lisa Beatty Victim/Witness Advocate Gloria Cash, Weymouth and State Police detectives worked tirelessly to arrive at this just result I extend my personal thanks for their hard work.”
This story was written from a press release.