One Of Pair Accused Of Rape To Be Tried Tomorrow

March 03, 1991|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

One of two Harford men accused of raping a pregnant 19-year-old Havre de Grace woman in May 1990 will stand trial in county Circuit CourtMonday.

Christopher U. Eley, 21, of Havre de Grace, faces life inprison if he is convicted of first-degree rape and six other chargesrelating to the alleged attack. The trial for Richard L. Wallace, 21, of Aberdeen, who faces the same charges as Eley, has not been scheduled.

"Both Eley and Wallace grabbed her, forced her to the floor, ripped off her clothing, beat her with their fists and raped her," said areport filed by Havre de Grace police.

Police and court records give the following account:

The woman told investigators she was awakened by a knock on the door of her apartment in the 400 block of Battery Drive at about 5:30 a.m. May 16.

Eley and Wallace, whom she knew, were at the door and asked her if they could drink their beer at the apartment.

The woman refused at first, but then let Eley andWallace in when they said they would only stay for a half-hour, police said.

After 30 minutes, the woman asked Eley and Wallace to leave, police said. When they refused, the woman told them she was goingto call the police.

As she went for the telephone, the woman toldpolice, Eley and Wallace tackled her to the floor, court records show. The men then reportedly tried to choke the woman with a telephone cord, struck her in the face and then ripped off her clothing.

Thewoman told police Wallace was the first to have intercourse with her.

Eley was putting on a blue condom to have intercourse with the woman when two neighbors came to her door, police said. The neighbors told police they went there after hearing the woman screaming for help.

Wallace and Eley fled from a back door when the neighbors arrived, police said.

The neighbors, who have been subpoenaed to testify at the trial, later identified Wallace and Eley from photographs as the men they saw fleeing the apartment, police said.

The woman, who was about two months pregnant at the time of the attack, was treated and released from Harford Memorial Hospital, court documents show.

Wallace denied that he took part in the attack in a letter to Circuit Judge William O. Carr. In the undated letter included in court documents, Wallace said the woman is falsely accusing him of rape.

"I bet my life that I won't be the last (one) she does this to," Wallace wrote in his letter.

"I just hope that she gets stopped before she ruins another life like she is going to do (to) mine. I just want my fair chance in court."

Wallace wrote the letter to Carr to get his bail reduced. Wallace's bail was originally set at $50,000. Carr reduced it to $35,000 on Nov. 16, but the suspect did not post the bail.

Wallace is still being held at the county Detention Center. Eley is at the center on $150,000 bond.

In addition to first-degree rape, Eley and Wallace were each charged by Havre de Grace policewith second-degree rape, third-degree sexual offense, assault with intent to rape, assault and battery, assault and false imprisonment.

The trial is scheduled to last three days before Circuit Judge Stephen M. Waldron.

Eley and Wallace were scheduled for trials twice before, but the proceedings were delayed.

A Sept. 24, 1990, trial was postponed because a judge and jury were not available, records say. The trial was rescheduled for Dec. 7, but those proceedings were delayed because the victim was due to deliver her baby.

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