'Serial rapist' called hoax

March 18, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Sun Staff Writer

A Baltimore County man will be featured as a confessed serial rapist on "The Montel Williams Show," even though city police believe the man is a hoaxer who made the claims so he could appear on national television.

During a taping of the show in New York City on Wednesday, Jerome Stanfield, 37, said he had raped at least 90 prostitutes in Baltimore from 1990 through 1992.

But minutes after the taping -- as he was taken from the studio in police custody -- Mr. Stanfield, whose last known address was the 3600 block of Paskin Place in Rockdale, told reporters he hadn't raped anyone.

Later, while being interviewed by investigators, he recanted his story altogether, said Agent Doug Price, a Baltimore police spokesman.

City police said they have found no reports of serial rapes of prostitutes in the city and believe that Mr. Stanfield made up the claims. "We have a 1991 bench warrant charging him with violating his probation on a burglary charge, but other than that, we have no facts or information to suggest he was involved in any criminal activity," Agent Price said.

"He was able to manipulate the Baltimore and New York media into thinking he was a serial rapist," Agent Price said.

Sharon Owens, a spokeswoman for "The Montel Williams Show," said the program will run in two parts, to be aired Monday and Tuesday. The premise of the show is "Confessions of a serial rapist," with Mr. Stanfield the primary focus, she said.

William H. Murphy Jr., a prominent Baltimore attorney, also is a guest on the show to give legal insights, Ms. Owens said.

"We're still airing the show. Whether there are charges levied against [Mr. Stanfield] or not, people should be aware that he is out there," Ms. Owens said. "We feel that he is a potential danger to society, and the public should know that."

She said producers decided to put Mr. Stanfield on the air after he recently called the show's 900 number. On the phone, he said something to the effect of, "I watch Montel Williams every day. I'm a black man from Baltimore, and society has failed me. No one has ever been able to help me with my problem," Ms. Owens said.

Police said Mr. Stanfield remained in the custody of New York authorities yesterday but likely would be released soon.

He was not paid for his appearance on "The Montel Williams Show," but the show paid to fly him to New York City and for his hotel accommodations, Ms. Owens said.

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