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Man gets prison in 2004 Beacon Hill rape

An 18-year-old former Roxbury man was sentenced to 16 to 20 years in state prison yesterday after pleading guilty to charges that he repeatedly raped a Beacon Hill woman at gunpoint in November 2004.

Zaquan Martin, who was 16 at the time of the attack, was indicted as a youthful offender, meaning he could receive the same sentence as an adult if convicted. Otherwise, at most Martin could have been committed to the Department of Youth Services until his 18th birthday.

Martin pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston to three counts of aggravated rape, two counts each of kidnapping, armed robbery, and assault with a dangerous weapon, and one count each of home invasion and gun possession.

Prosecutors have said Martin forced the woman into her Joy Street apartment. When the woman's roommate came home, he tied her up while ransacking the apartment, prosecutors have said.

The crime scared women in the neighborhood, who received whistles from police. Police arrested Martin after three days of investigation, saying they had found a gun and personal items belonging to the victim in his home.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said he is pleased with the guilty plea because Martin will face substantial time in prison and his victim will be spared the ordeal of testifying.

"It was a terrifying and horrible crime," Conley said in an interview yesterday. He called the victim a "very strong woman" who was "prepared to look Zaquan Martin in the eye and identify him as the perpetrator of this brutal crime."

Martin's attorney, Pierre Monette Jr., said the plea deal was the best option for Martin, who Monette said could have faced 25 years or more in prison if convicted at trial.

"Unfortunately, he made an extremely unwise decision when he was 16 years of age that now that he's an 18-year-old he has taken responsibility for," Monette said in a telephone interview.

SUZANNE SMALLEY

(Correction: Because of an editing error, a story in yesterday's City & Region section about a guilty plea in a rape case misstated the court. It was Suffolk Juvenile Court in Boston.)

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