Ex-fire volunteer charged in Arundel rapes Savage man faces 12 new counts

October 02, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

A former Savage volunteer paramedic has been indicted on charges of first-degree rape and 11 other counts in attacks on two women in Anne Arundel County last month.

James Scott Botschen, 31, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if he is convicted of the charges. Mr. Botschen is scheduled for arraignment Monday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court.

After his arrest on Sept. 4, he was dismissed from the Savage Volunteer Fire Company, where he had been an emergency medical technician and firefighter for 10 years.

The indictment, issued by a grand jury Monday, charges Mr. Botschen with attacking two women while in his parked car in a remote area of Curtis Bay on Sept. 3 and 4.

Mr. Botschen is charged with first-degree rape, second-degree rape, false imprisonment, assault and battery, assault, attempted first-degree rape, attempted second-degree rape, fourth-degree sexual offense, two counts of assault with intent to rape and two weapons counts.

In addition, state police in Glen Burnie on Wednesday charged Mr. Botschen with sexual offenses involving two other women attacked in Curtis Bay on Sept. 1 and 2. Anne Arundel State's Attorney Frank Weathersbee said his office will decide whether to indict Mr. Botschen on those charges after reviewing police reports.

Meanwhile, state police in Frederick issued a warrant Wednesday charging Mr. Botschen with a May 1991 rape in which the victim was severely beaten and left for dead.

State police detectives were led to Mr. Botschen by three photographs of the victim they found during their investigation of the Anne Arundel incidents, police said.

Police say they have pictures of four other unidentified women, and know of a fifth woman, all of whom may have been victims of Mr. Botschen.

In the Anne Arundel incidents, Mr. Botschen followed virtually the same routine each night, police said.

He picked up the women in Baltimore, offering to pay them for sex. He drove them to Curtis Bay in his yellow 1972 Chrysler Newport, where he ordered them to undress and pose for pictures, police said.

All of the women, who admitted to being prostitutes, were threatened with a butcher knife, police said. One was threatened with a handgun.

Three of the women fled from Mr. Botschen without their clothing, running to a nearby business for help, police said. Police arrested Mr. Botschen while he was with the fourth woman.

When police arrested Mr. Botschen, investigators found pictures nude or partly dressed women in his car. Those pictures led to the most recent charges.

Mr. Botschen was first arrested in July 1991 after an Olney woman covered with blood was found walking near the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Anne Arundel.

Mr. Botschen pleaded guilty to battery, and was given a suspended prison sentence.

He had been banned from answering emergency calls that arrest, but the company reinstated him in January.

County officials renewed the suspension a month later, after Mr. Botschen had responded to 13 fire and ambulance calls.

Donald Howell, spokesman for the county Department of Fire and Rescue Services, said officials were unaware Mr. Botschen had returned to active duty until they were notified in mid-February.

But Douglas Levy, spokesman for the fire company, said the company circulated a memo saying Mr. Botschen had been reinstated.

Mr. Howell, however, contends that county officials never received the memo.

Mr. Levy added that shift supervisors were responsible for assigning Mr. Botschen to "riding positions" for each of the service runs he helped to handle.

"How [county officials] can say they didn't know is beyond me," Mr. Levy said.

Mr. Howell said he doesn't know why the supervisors did not inform county administrators that Mr. Botschen was back on active duty.

"That, at this moment, we can't answer," Mr. Howell said. "We don't know why we were not notified."

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