Trial of Harford councilman accused of sex offense to begin

February 25, 1996|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

A Harford County councilman accused of touching a woman's breast is scheduled for trial tomorrow in the Baltimore County Circuit Court.

Mark S. Decker, 35, who has represented the Bel Air area on the council since 1994, is charged with battery and a fourth-degree sexual offense.

The charges stem from an incident Feb. 7, 1995, in which Mr. Decker is alleged to have touched the left arm and breast of a woman who was then a county custodian, according to Mr. Decker's attorney, Augustus F. Brown.

Prosecuting the case is Assistant Baltimore County State's Attorney Stephen R. Roscher, who has been reticent about the details and said the media would not be interested in the case if Mr. Decker did not hold public office.

"I don't want anyone saying the state tried this case in the press," he said last week.

Mr. Decker was in a hallway on the County Council level of the courthouse, headed to a public hearing, when an encounter took place, Mr. Brown said.

"He did greet [the custodian] and touch her arm, but did not touch any other part of her body," Mr. Brown said.

The 38-year-old woman who made the accusation and Mr. Decker declined to comment.

The councilman will decide tomorrow whether he wants a jury or Circuit Judge Lawrence R. Daniels to decide the case.

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