Sex Offender Gets 30 Days After Victim Declines To Testify

April 19, 1992

A 25-year-old Millersville man who pleaded guilty on Monday to a fourth-degree sex offense was sentenced to 30 days in jail by a Howard County Circuit Court judge.

Rodney T. Gadson was scheduled to standtrial yesterday on charges of raping a woman he had met at the bar of the Columbia Hilton last Sept. 28.

The trial did not proceed because the victim decided she didn't want to testify at the trial, said Assistant State's Attorney Kate O'Donnell.

As part of the plea agreement, Gadson was given a one-yearsuspended sentence for unlawful touching and a five-year probation period.

He is also required to attend a 12-week program called New Behaviors at the Domestic Violence Center of Howard County. The program is designed to teach people to deal with anger.

Before he sentenced Gadson, Judge James B. Dudley remarked, "I can't help but conclude that the Mike Tyson mentality has unfortunately permeated our community." Dudley was referring to the heavyweight boxer's recent rape conviction in Indiana.

According to a statement of facts read in court, the victim met Gadson at the Hilton bar and danced with him. Shetold Gadson she felt dizzy because she had had too much to drink andasked to go sit in his car.

O'Donnell said the woman passed out, and when she came to, Gadson was fondling her and had sexual intercourse with her against her will. Gadson told police the woman said "no"when he was fondling her and admitted that he used some "intimidating" language.

Gadson's attorney, Barry Helfand, said he was guilty of the sex-offense charge but maintained that the woman consented to sexual intercourse.

"It is not as serious as it is made out to be in this case," Helfand said.

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