ROCKVILLE -- A 33-year-old Germantown man who is HIV-positive has been convicted of raping two 14-year-old girls.

William N. Karanja was convicted on two counts each of knowingly attempting to transfer HIV, second-degree rape and second-degree sex offense, four counts of third-degree sex offense and three counts of reckless endangerment after a three-day bench trial before Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Louise G. Scrivener. Sentencing is set for Dec. 15. Karanja could receive as many as 105 years in jail.

The attack surfaced after a man heard a girl repeatedly yelling "No" in an apartment in the 13200 block of Bristlecone Way at 1 a.m. on June 22, 2003. When he went to investigate, he looked through a ground-floor window and saw Karanja engaged in vaginal intercourse with a young girl. She was yelling at him to stop and trying to put on her clothes.

The witness called 911. When police arrived and knocked on the door, Karanja let them in.

There, the officers found two 14-year-old girls and a 15-year-old boy naked and passed out in the bedrooms. Police also found numerous bottles of alcohol throughout the apartment.

The victims were taken to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital for examination and treatment. DNA analysis proved that Karanja had vaginal and anal intercourse with both girls.

Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler said, "He got these teenagers drunk to a point where they could not defend themselves and raped them. Even more reprehensible is the fact that he was HIV-positive at the time and consciously tried to transmit it to these two victims."

-- Sonia Boin

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