Aberdeen man pleads to guilty to raping a woman in an abandoned building

Oct. 26—Tavon Isaiah Harvey, of Aberdeen, pleaded guilty Monday in Harford County Circuit Court to first-degree rape and two other charges, including violation of probation for a prior conviction for second-degree assault.

On December 30, 2022, the victim reported having been raped inside an abandoned building near the intersection of Law and Custis streets in Aberdeen to the Aberdeen Police Department. Police said they found that Harvey, 29, had sexually assaulted the victim over the course of two hours between midnight and 2 a.m. that same date, according to a news release sent out on Tuesday.

Authorities said Harvey held the victim at knifepoint during the rape and also strangled her. The victim was able to escape when someone entered the building and distracted Harvey.

The victim later identified Harvey in a Motor Vehicle Administration photograph. The victim also reported seeing Harvey watching her walk into the police precinct that morning.

After Harvey was arrested, he gave several conflicting versions of events. He said he had not seen the victim and only knew her in passing.

A sexual assault forensic exam, however, found evidence of injuries and bruising consistent with the victim's recitation of events. DNA evidence also confirmed Harvey's identity.

"The egregious acts that were perpetrated upon his victim in the rape case were nothing short of horrific," Harford County State's Attorney Alison Healey said in a statement. "It is my sincere hope that the first-degree rape conviction will give the victim some relief that justice was served as she closes this chapter and begins to heal."

Harvey also pleaded guilty to another charge stemming from a crime committed during his time in the Harford County Detention Center while awaiting his rape trial. In early April, Harvey used empty bottles from his shower to collect fecal matter and sprayed it over the bars and walls of the day room during a shift change. Deputies and correctional officers had to decontaminate the area.

Harvey remains held without bond at the Harford County Detention Center while awaiting sentencing which is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2024. Harvey faces 85 years in prison for the first-degree rape case.

Harvey's lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

Originally Published: Oct 25, 2023 at 1:25 pm