Transcripts Indicate Illicit Activity Could Be Widespread

December 22, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Transcripts of interviews with firefighters and the women with whom they are accused of having on-duty sex indicate the illicit activity was more widespread than Annapolis officials had publicly divulged.

City officials said they only charged the public safety officials -- five city firefighters and two city police officers -- where corroborating evidence could be found.

But the transcripts released indicate that as many as nine firefighters may have been involved in on-duty sex four or five years ago, and some incidents may have occurred more recently.

There are allegations of sex on top of a fire station washing machine; an ongoing relationship between one woman and a firefighter that resulted in sex in a station about once a week for a year; a rendezvous between a woman and an on-duty firefighter at the Georgetown East Pool; and sex between two of the women and a firefighter in a women's fire station bathroom.

The two most detailed sexual encounters discussed in the transcripts deal with Firefighter Robert Thomas -- who was fired and then reinstated to the force with all charges dropped -- and Lt. Eden Avery, who is appealing his suspension.

But the transcripts also reveal many conflicting stories.

One Sunday afternoon during summer1985, Cheryl Hopkins-Boggs said, she and her aunt by marriage, Pamela Hopkins, went to the Water Witch fire station, which closed in 1987.

"Both of us went upstairs and I was (with) Tommy (Robert Thomas), and she was with Eden, and we were there for maybe about an hour --. . sexual intercourse on both sides."

Hopkins-Boggs said she didnot see what Avery and Hopkins were doing, but was told about it later.

Thomas denied ever having sex with Hopkins-Boggs and Avery said he was only in the back room with Hopkins for five minutes.

"No sex took place," he said, adding that Thomas and Hopkins-Boggs were on the couch watching TV the entire time.

Hopkins, in her statement, says she was at the station for about 25 minutes and talked to somefirefighters.

In a transcript released two weeks ago, investigators never asked her if sex took place.

The second incident in whichThomas was charged also occurred at Water Witch, sometime in 1987. Karen Dawson told investigators that she had sex with Avery in the back of an ambulance. After they got out, she said Hopkins-Boggs -- her cousin bymarriage -- and Thomas got in.

Dawson said Hopkins-Boggs told her on the drive home that she and Thomas had sex.

But Dawsonchanged that story while testifying at Thomas' hearing Dec. 6. She said she never saw Dawson and Hopkins-Boggs get into the ambulance andonly assumed the couple had sex because one of the investigators told her he knew all about it.

Avery, in his statement, admits to having sex in the back of anambulance with Dawson. He said Hopkins-Boggsand Thomas were on the other side of the building, and he has no idea if anything happened.

"He (Thomas) never indicated that they hadhad sex, and I don't know whether they ever did," Avery said in his statement.

"I never saw it. I never heard it. You know it was a deal where I had known Karen, and it was an accepted thing that I had been doing. . . . Tommy and Cheryl talked and that's the only thing that I know they did."

Hopkins-Boggs, in her statement, only talks about an ambulance once.

She said she was with another firefighter who has not been implicated in the case and said Thomas and Hopkins were in another ambulance at the same time.

But since no time element is given for any of the incidents, it is impossible to tell if sheis referring to the same encounter as Avery.

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