A former employee of real estate broker Gary Hart was so enraged that his old boss made racial slurs about his granddaughter that he toldauthorities he wanted to testify against Hart at his upcoming rape trial, defense lawyers said yesterday.
Lee Mohen Jr. admitted underquestioning from one of Hart's lawyers, Steve Allen, that he called up Hart's office the day after hearing the comments and told a receptionist that if Hart ever made a racial slur against his granddaughter, Mohen would "close (the business') doors tomorrow."
Mohen and his daughter are white. Her child is black.
As Hart's trial moved into its sixth day, his lawyers tried to paint Mohen, akey prosecution witness, as a man acting out of spite and revenge who hated his former employer with a passion.
Mohen testified Fridaythat Hart told him he was afraid that sex he had with a woman in October was rape.
The woman has testified that Hart raped and choked her Oct. 16, following a date in his home. Hart has admitted in interviews to having sex with the 34-year-old woman but said it was consentual.
Under questioning from Assistant State's Attorney William C.Mulford II, Mohen said Hart told him shortly after the alleged attack that he thought there was no such thing as date rape.
"He said this was a new '80s, '90s thing," Mohen said. "He said Anne Arundel County in particular has a prosecutor that has made it her cause . . . They have this new thing called date rape where you can sleep with a woman and they have a charge."
But Allen, who questioned Mohen from midmorning to the end of the day, accused him of everything from stealing clients to being angry with Hart for belittling him.
The tension in Hart and Mohen's relationship reached a boiling point in February, after Mohen resigned and went to work for another mortgage company.
It was then, Mohen said, that he learned of some derogatory comments Hart apparently made about his family. He testified that hisdaughter Kelly had a daughter out of wedlock last November. She had planned to marry, but two months before the baby was due, Mohen learned the man his daughter was about to marry was not the child's father. He said he learned the baby's father was black.
Mohen testified that in March, a friend told him that Hart had been making racial slurs against his granddaughter. Mohen also testified that Hart called his wife, who he said was having affairs, "a ------- slut" several times.
The day after hearing those statements, Allen said, Mohen called a friend and said he would take Hart down. Mohen said he couldn't recall making such a phone call.
The following day, March 6, Mohenand Hart nearly got into a fight at an Annapolis bowling alley.
Mohen testified that Hart, a few lanes away, made several motions indicating the two should go outside and fight, then mouthed a racial comment about his granddaughter.
"I walked down to Gary and got up inhis face," Mohen said. " 'Let's go right here.' " He said he walked away but returned after Hart threatened him and his family, saying hewanted to "waste" his daughter and granddaughter.
Mohen said a woman then hit him in the head twice, leading him to call the police.
Allen said it was only during that incident, five months after Hartallegedly told Mohen that he was afraid he might have raped a woman,that Mohen became a witness for the state. He said that when Mohen called 911, he specifically asked for the detective handling the rape investigation.