March 1, 2012
For more information, contact: John J. McCarthy, (240) 777-7390
Seth Zucker, Communications Director, (240) 777-7345
John J. McCarthy, State’s Attorney for Montgomery County, announced that Timothy Buzbee, 54, also known as the “Aspen Hill Rapist” was sentenced today to three life sentences, two of which are to run consecutively, by the Honorable Nelson Rupp, Montgomery County, Maryland. Buzbee pled guilty on February 27, 2012 to three counts of First Degree Rape. As part of the plea, a fourth victim was allowed to speak at sentencing.
In a statement following the sentencing, McCarthy declared “This Defendant terrorized an entire community for years. When I joined the State’s Attorney’s Office thirty years ago, this was the most important case in the county. This man terrified this community in much the same way as the D.C. Sniper, only rather than terrorizing the community for a few weeks, this Defendants reign of terror lasted years. We now know that the very moniker “Aspen Hill Rapist” as he became known in the early 1980’s is itself a misnomer, this man’s crime spree started in the 1970’s and encompassed many different areas of Montgomery County. This Defendant may very well be the most prolific rapist in Montgomery County history. Therefore, we applaud the sentence that was imposed today, and continue to believe, as Judge Rupp believes, that this man never walk the streets again.”
In sentencing the Defendant, Judge Rupp referred to the Defendant as “an evil sexual predator.”
In the late 70’s and early 80’s the Defendant committed a string of stranger-on-stranger rapes that terrified the entire Montgomery County community. He was originally convicted of three rapes in 1983, and is currently serving a sentence of three concurrent life sentences plus 50 years. He became parole eligible in 2005. As a result of today’s sentencing, Buzbee will have to serve to additional life sentences to the sentences he is currently serving.
While it was originally believed that the Defendant began his spree of rapes in the early 1980’s, today’s convictions show he was actively raping women as early as the 1970’s. The convictions also show that the geographic area in which he selected his victims went beyond Aspen Hill.
On April 14, 1977, at approximately 7:50 p.m., a woman was walking on 400 block of Venice Drive in Silver Spring, when the Defendant approached her and put his hand over her mouth. He told her he had a knife and that if she didn’t cooperate he would kill her. He then forced her into a backyard where he put his shirt over her face. He then made her go to the ground where he forced vaginal intercourse on her.
On June 3, 1978 at, approximately 9:25 p.m., a woman was on her way back from a party and was walking down the street when the Defendant approached her while jogging and bumped into her. He said “excuse me” and jogged away. When the victim approached the corner, the Defendant was waiting for her. He had a gun and took her to the front-yard of a home on the1500 block of Baylor Ave. in Rockville where he threatened to kill her if she did not undress. He then forced her onto the ground where he forced vaginal intercourse on her.
On January 25, 1979 at approximately 7:00 pm., a woman was walking on the 12900 block of Valleywood Drive in Wheaton, Maryland when she was approached by the Defendant. The Defendant threatened to kill her and forced her onto the ground where he forced vaginal intercourse on her.
On August 19, 1980, a woman was walking on Norbeck Road when the Defendant approached her from behind with an automatic weapon. He then moved her off the street where he raped her.
All four reported the rapes to the police, and vaginal swabs were taken at the time of the crimes. In 2009, using money from a federal grant, the vaginal swabs were tested for DNA and it was determined that a single suspect had committed all three rapes. The DNA profile was entered into CODIS, where it was determined to match the Defendant.
In making today’s announcement, McCarthy thanked Deputy State’s Attorney John Maloney and Assistant State’s Attorney Debra Grimes for their prosecution of the case. McCarthy also praised the Montgomery County Police Department for their investigation of the case.