Former Weymouth man convicted in 1995 church rectory rape

A former Weymouth man already serving a life sentence in Maryland has been sentenced to 18 to 25 years in a Massachusetts prison after DNA linked him to the 1995 rape of a teenage girl in a church rectory, the Norfolk district attorney’s office said.

William Burton III, 43, was convicted Wednesday of aggravated rape and kidnapping, prosecutors said.

The victim, who was 17 at the time of the assault, testified at the two-week trial.

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“I cannot overstate the courage demonstrated by this woman. She was a very young girl, working part-time answering phones at the rectory, when she was attacked,” Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey said in a statement. “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.”

On Oct. 2, 1995, Burton approached the victim while she was working in the rectory of St. Albert the Great Parish in Weymouth. Burton, who had broken into the church, threw a towel over the victim’s head and dragged her into the basement of the building and raped her, prosecutors said.

Burton’s DNA had been entered into a national database after his crimes in Maryland. That DNA linked him to the Weymouth attack.

He was sentenced in Maryland on two counts of aggravated rape, one count of kidnapping, and one count of attempted murder by strangulation.

Burton’s Massachusetts sentence would not begin unless he is paroled by Maryland, prosecutors said. Burton is eligible for parole in Maryland after 15 years.

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