Man convicted of battery after woman denies rape

June 03, 1996|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

A Howard County jury deadlocked over whether to convict a Prince George's man of rape Friday, after the alleged victim testified in Circuit Court that she fabricated the accusation.

After deliberating four hours, the jury decided to convict Alvin Crook, who now lives in Landover, of battery and lesser sex offense charges. He could receive up to 31 years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 2.

His girlfriend initially told police that Crook had raped and beaten her -- at one point, behind Abiding Savior Lutheran Church in Owen Brown in August.

On the witness stand, the woman said Crook did beat her, but the sex was consensual.

"I said 'rape' because I was mad at him," she said.

Defense attorneys charged that proceeding with the rape case -- which could have put Crook in prison for life -- was a mistake by the prosecution.

But Assistant State's Attorney Mary Murphy disputed that. "The injuries that were received by [the victim] with the other physical evidence, the medical records and testimony supported the state's position to go forward with the case," Murphy said.

After the judge declared a mistrial on the rape charge, prosecutors, who had the option to retry, said they would not do so.

Pub Date: 6/03/96

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