Jury convicts Cheswold man of raping his wife


DOVER — A 50-year-old Cheswold man is facing up to 75 years in prison after being convicted of raping his wife, the state Department of Justice said last week.

A Kent County Superior Court jury convicted Mark A. Bartell of two counts of second-degree rape, one count of fourth-degree rape, and two counts of solicitation.

He will be sentenced in May and will serve at least 20 years in prison, the DOJ said.

Deputy Attorneys General Denise Weeks-Tappan and Stephen Smith prosecuted the case.

According to the DOJ, Bartell raped his wife in her bedroom after an argument in November 2015. Following arrest and incarceration, authorities said he attempted to hire other inmates to kill his wife.

Bartell made a motion to separate the criminal solicitation charges from the rape counts, which was denied by Resident Judge William L. Witham Jr. on Jan. 25.

The defendant argued that since the criminal solicitation allegations surfaced at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, a jury would improperly judge his overall criminal state based on his incarceration at the time.

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