A judge yesterday refused to set bond for a former roller-skating coach charged with raping two teen-age girls, saying he believed a potential witness' testimony that the man had threatened to kill her.
A 13-year-old Laurel girl testified that the 37-year-old Jessup man issued threats over the telephone and twice came to her house, on one visit trying unsuccessfully to enter the home.
The former coach, whose name is being withheld by the Anne Arundel County Sun to protect the juveniles in the case, has denied the charges.
Rejecting a defense attorney's claim that the state had produced insufficient evidence to revoke the man's bond of more than $40,000, county Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme said, "It's a little hardto believe the child would have fabricated her testimony."
Under questioning by Assistant Public Defender Sandy Kelly, the girl said she did not witness any of the alleged rapes but said, "I've been toldthings."
When Kelly told Thieme the girl may not even be a witness in the man's upcoming trial, the judge responded, "She wasn't a witness before but it appears he may well have made her one now."
After Thieme refused to set bond, the man strongly denied threatening the girl. He said he had followed all conditions set for his release, telling the judge, "I'm a lot of things . . . but I'm not somebody who's going to violate a court order.
The man's trial is set for Oct.17, but after refusing to set bond, Thieme told the prosecutor and the defense attorney to try to find an earlier trial date.
The man was arrested Thursday night on a warrant issued by Circuit Judge Bruce C. Williams. Williams revoked the man's bond in response to prosecutors' claims that the man had threatened a potential witness.
In court yesterday, the girl said she called police to report the threats. The man then called back, the girl said, "telling me he saw the police . . . and if I called the police again I was dead."
The girl said she was a friend of the man's daughter.
The former coach was indicted last month on charges of first-degree rape, child abuse and first-degree sex offenses in cases involving a 12-year-old girl who was a member of the roller skating team he coached and a 14-year-old girl who was a regular at the Laurel Skating Center in Howard County.
His 14-year-old son faces similar charges as a juvenile in connection with incidents involving the younger girl.