Hart Feared Incident, Says Associate

Realtor, Accused Of Rape, Askedacquaintance For Advice About Relations

June 23, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Real estate broker Gary Hart was afraid sex he had with a woman lastOctober could be construed as rape and asked a business associate what he could do to clear his name, the former employee testified Friday.

"He said, 'I think I'm in trouble -- I went out with the woman and things got out of hand,' " Lee Mohen said. "He said, 'She got crazy. We had sex and then she changed her mind that she didn't want sex.' "

Mohen, who worked out of Hart's main office on Ritchie Highway, also testified that he had seen Hart ask the woman for a date several times.

"Gary wanted to go out with her," Mohen said, referring to a time both of them were in Jason's, an Annapolis nightclub. "He was hitting on her . . . like one would when you talk to a lady who is out in a bar. She was handling it very well. She wasn't committing to go out, but she didn't make him feel real bad."

Mohen's testimony came at the end of the fifth day of Hart's rape trial, which is expected to last well into the following week.

The woman has testified that Hart raped and choked her Oct. 16 following a date in his home inthe 3700 block of Thomas Point Drive. Hart has admitted in interviews to having sex with the 34-year-old woman, but said it was consentual.

Defense lawyers did not get a chance to cross-examine Mohen Friday, but attorney Arnold Weiner called Mohen a "poor Joe" during his opening arguments Monday and accused him of saying he would "shut down" Hart's business.

On the stand Friday, Mohen, who said he started working for Hart in January or February 1989, said Hart took him toJason's one night in July 1990 so he could meet the woman, a waitress.

"She was different," Mohen said. "She wasn't a bimbo -- that wasn't the word he used, but she had smarts. This was her second job. She had a computer."

Mohen said he was present when Hart asked the woman out on at least two occasions. He said that about two days after the alleged rape, Hart called him into his office and told him about the encounter.

"He was sick," Mohen said. "He would walk around,pacing back and forth. He was very nervous. . . . He said she got hysterical, out of control.

"Then I used the wrong word. I asked, 'Are you telling me you raped her?' " he said. "He got really pissed. He said, 'What the hell are you talking about? It's not rape when somebody comes to my house. It's not rape when you kiss her.'

"I said,'I don't know. I'm not an expert on this, but this sounds like rape to me.' He said, 'Its not goddamn rape. It's bulls---.' I said, 'You can yell at me all you want, but the person who you are in trouble with is not in this room.' "

Mohen said he advised Hart to call the woman and see if the apparent misunderstanding could be worked out. He said Hart then told him he was above the law.

"He said, 'I don'tneed to rape anybody. Nobody turns me down. When I'm on a date, I goto bed with the woman.' (Hart) was trying to sell to himself more than me on what happened that night."

Mohen will continue his testimony Monday.

Also appearing before the jury Friday was Dennis J. G.Plummer, a private contractor and a part-time bartender at Jason's. He has testified that he dated the alleged victim starting in October, shortly before the woman says she was attacked by Hart.

Plummer said Friday that the woman lived with him -- although she had her ownbedroom -- from late March or early April 1991 until June 13, when the woman moved out of the house after having locked herself in her bedroom with a loaded gun.

Assistant State's Attorney William C. Mulford II played down the event, saying the investigator from his office who called Anne Arundel County Police was merely following standardprocedures and was not worried about the situation exploding.

Plummer said he was joking with the two officers while Detective Dave Cordle tried to coax the woman out of the room. "What did Mr. Cordle tell you when he gave you back the gun?" Mulford asked.

"He told me I needed to clean it," Plummer answered.

But Weiner said Cordle called police saying the woman and Plummer were hysterical and "flippedout" and said the whole argument started when the woman accused Plummer of working for Hart's defense.

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