Youth Offender Accused Of Rape Charged Thrice Before

September 11, 1991|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff writer

A 15-year-old accused of raping a jogger while he was on a group outing as a juvenile offender had been charged with sexual assaults three times before, court records revealed this week.

As a result, state officials say they are studying their policies about supervised field trips.

The youth, Antonio Lee Perry of Capitol Heights, Prince George's County, was charged as an adult Friday with second-degree rape in connection with the April 26 attack on a 24-year-old jogger at Centennial Park.

Perry also had been charged with raping a 15-year-old girlin Prince George's County when he was 14, according to court records.

He also had been charged with two other previous sexual assaultsin that county when he was 12, court papers said.

At the time of the Centennial Park attack, Perry had been undergoing court-ordered therapy at the Thomas O'Farrell Youth Center in Henryton.

Police say Perry allegedly attacked the woman while he and about three dozen other youths were attending a weekly field trip at the park.

The O'Farrell Center is state-owned but privately run by a Massachusetts non-profit agency, Northeastern Family Institute.

In all four of thesuspected sexual assaults, the victim was grabbed from behind and violently assaulted. One victim was struck several times in the face, court records show.

Northeastern's executive director, Yitzhak Bakal, could not be reached for comment. An agency spokeswoman, Mary O'Donnell, said, "We believe our policies have always been adequate," butrefused to comment further.

State Department of Juvenile Servicesofficials have asked O'Farrell and most of the other 145 private state contractors to submit their off-campus activities policies and field trip guidelines, said Jacqueline Lampell, a spokeswoman for the department.

"Most of them have submitted their policies and we are reviewing all of them," Lampell said.

The review will likely take several weeks to complete, she said.

O'Farrell has been told not tosponsor any more trips to Centennial Park until the review is completed, and it is forbidden from taking sex offenders into the program, Lampell said.

Court records said Perry admitted raping the jogger,an Ellicott City resident, after he ran up behind her, threw her to the ground and struck her in the face.

The victim described her attacker as a large heavy-set man. Perry is 6 feet tall and weighs 210 pounds, police said.

Perry also said in an interview with a policedetective that "he didn't have control" of his sexual problems and he "advised that he was at the youth center to correct his problems," court records said.

Perry was charged in each of those incidents through juvenile petitions, which are confidential. He was ordered to the O'Farrell Center by a judge.

Glenn Hansen, the police investigator, said the victim has since moved from the area to Pennsylvania but has agreed to return to Howard County to testify.

"She left thearea because of her emotional concern over this incident," Hansen said.

Perry is being held at the Howard County Detention Center on $1 million bond.

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