Collection of evidence at issue in sex abuse case

April 24, 1995|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

The defense attorney for an HIV-positive Carroll County man, who is accused of assault with intent to murder in alleged sexual assaults of two boys, was scheduled to argue today that prosecutors improperly obtained evidence in the case.

At main issue, at a pretrial motions hearing in Carroll Circuit Court, is whether prosecutors properly obtained evidence during the execution of two search warrants, said defense lawyer Judith S. Stainbrook.

The defendant is charged with the rape -- and, because he has the AIDS virus, assault with intent to murder -- of his two stepgrandsons.

In documents filed in Carroll District Court last fall, police alleged that the 46-year-old man had sexual contact with his 8- and 3-year-old stepgrandsons on several occasions in September at the man's house and in his van.

The man is the first person Carroll County prosecutors have charged with assault with intent to murder in a sexual abuse case. His case is one of just a few such cases in Maryland.

Carroll County investigators decided to pursue the assault with intent to murder charges because they contend the man knew he had the human immunodeficiency virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome when the alleged abuse occurred.

The man is in the Carroll County Detention Center in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Ms. Stainbrook said another issue at today's hearing would be the credibility of the children.

"These kids were highly sophisticated. They used highly sophisticated language to describe their allegations," Ms. Stainbrook said.

In a December interview, Ms. Stainbrook said her client "didn't abuse the boys. He insists he didn't do anything to them."

The man's name is being withheld by The Sun to shield the identity of his accusers.

Assistant State's Attorney Tracy Gilmore declined Friday to discuss the case because "it is pending litigation."

Prosecutors and defense attorneys said charges such as attempted murder and assault with intent to murder are becoming more common in cases involving people infected with HIV, nationally and in Maryland.

According to District Court charging documents, grand jury indictments and interviews with investigators, the two boys told their mother that they were assaulted in the attic of their grandmother's house and in a van.

The evidence in the case also indicates that the grandmother allegedly knew the 46-year-old man had HIV when they married.

The marriage, the court documents said, began and ended in September. The grandmother and the defendant had known each other for some time, and the man proposed marriage so that when he died the grandmother would be the beneficiary of his life insurance policies, Ms. Stainbrook said.

HIV test results are negative for both children, investigators said.

A jury trial is scheduled for June.

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