Man sentenced in cold-case rape conviction

A Salisbury man was sentenced last week to 40 years in jail in a rape and burglary case that had remained unsolved since 1999.

In March, Christopher Gibbs Jr., 52, was convicted by a Wicomico County jury of second-degree rape and related charges. The charges against Gibbs arose from an incident that occurred on July 22, 1999, in the area of Isabella Street.

As the victim was coming home from work that evening, Gibbs forced her into her apartment at knife point. Gibbs ordered her to the bedroom where he sexually assaulted her at knifepoint.

Police were called and the crime was investigated by the city police Investigation Division. The victim was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for treatment and DNA evidence from the case was sent to the Maryland State Police Crime Lab.

Police could not identify a suspect at that time; however, the victim’s attacker’s DNA was uploaded onto the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System.

In 2014, the CODIS unit notified the Salisbury City Police that the DNA standard of Christopher Gibbs Jr., matched the DNA collected during the investigation.
On Friday, Gibbs was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 20 years. He was also sentenced to 10 years for robbery and 10 years for burglary, crimes he committed during the course of the event.

Gibbs’ total sentence was 40 years active incarceration in the Division of Correction.

Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matthew A. Maciarello commended the Salisbury City Police, and investigating officer, Detective Matthew Thompsen, for their work in the investigation and prosecution of this case.


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