Police officer goes on trial on sex count Alleged assault was in Annapolis store while he was off-duty

'I was horrified'

Trust betrayed, says prosecutor

defense claims act consensual

July 30, 1996|By Dennis O'Brien and TaNoah Morgan | Dennis O'Brien and TaNoah Morgan,STAFF WRITERS

An 18-year-veteran of the Anne Arundel County Police Department used "trust, authority and intimidation" to sexually assault a woman in the Annapolis drugstore where they worked, a prosecutor said yesterday.

Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Rogers told a Circuit Court jury that the officer, who was moonlighting as a security guard at the store, forced the victim to perform a sex act in the office after she locked up about 7 p.m. Dec. 12, 1995.

Sgt. Michael Dennis Feeney, 40, of Bowie is charged with a second-degree sex offense for an assault on a 30-year-old manager of a Rite Aid store in Annapolis that since has closed.

"Trust, authority, intimidation, remember those three words," Rogers told the jury of eight men and four women in her opening statement. She said the officer used his position to win the woman's confidence, and then intimidated her.

"He wore a uniform that anyone should be proud to wear, the uniform of an Anne Arundel County police officer," Rogers said.

Gill Cochran, Feeney's lawyer, acknowledged that his client and the manager had sex, but said it was consensual. The two had an affair, but Feeney admitted it to his wife and she was sitting in the second row of the courtroom yesterday, Cochran said. "It wasn't a crime at all," he said.

The manager testified that she was in the office counting the day's receipts when Feeney began massaging her shoulders and told her she seemed tense.

"I was so tense because I was nervous about what he was doing," she said.

She said he took off his gun and his badge, then removed his pants and forced her to perform a sex act.

"I was horrified by what happened," the victim said.

Co-workers testified that she told them of the alleged assault shortly afterward.

Janice Nutter, a store manager the woman called that night, said the woman was shocked and afraid.

"She sounded like she was just about ready to cry," Nutter testified. "She said, 'He wouldn't let me out of the store!' "

Nutter said she told the woman to call police, but the woman was afraid the officer may have friends on the force who would come after her.

The woman reported the incident to police March 26 after internal affairs Sgt. Gerard Flemings, who was looking into another complaint about Feeney, called.

Feeney is on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the trial.

The case is being heard before Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr.

Pub Date: 7/30/96

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