Jackson accused of sexual abuse Highlandtown woman files 11 charges against Ravens wide receiver

November 21, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Mike Preston contributed to this story

A woman who claims she had a 16-month relationship with Ravens wide receiver Michael Jackson filed criminal charges against the player yesterday alleging sexual abuse, according to court documents.

A District Court commissioner issued a summons ordering the 29-year-old player to appear in court on Dec. 30. Jackson, who is scheduled to play in Cincinnati tomorrow, has not been officially notified of the complaint.

Jackson could not be reached for comment last night. But his fiancee, Vanessa Williams, reached at her Columbia home, said the charges were baseless. She said the couple have been together seven years and have two children together.

"Michael has never been a forceful person," Williams said. "He has never raised a hand to me, let alone assaulted me. That is not his personality at all. He has done great things for this community, and now this woman is destroying it. I hope she knows what she is doing."

Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda said last night that he had not heard of the complaint. "I have no comment at this time because we don't know anything about it," he said. "We'll have to talk to Michael and get his side of the story. We'll have to presume he's innocent until proven otherwise."

The 44-year-old Highlandtown woman who filed the six-page complaint declined to comment last night. "I can't say anything," she said. The Sun does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assaults.

The Highlandtown woman filed 11 charges against Jackson, who has been a professional football player for eight years. He was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1991 draft and accompanied the team when it moved to Baltimore.

Charges filed against him are: two counts of second-degree sex offense, a third-degree sex offense, three counts of second-degree assault, two counts of perverted practice, one count of sodomy, one count of harassment and one count of false imprisonment.

Court officials confirmed last night that Jackson had been officially charged with the offenses. The woman's formal written complaint was not available through the District Court last night, but an unsigned version of the six-page document reviewed by The Sun alleges a wide range of abuse that the woman says started in December 1997.

The woman contended that Jackson had threatened her, and she was also scared to come forward because of his influence as a sports star.

"Michael's persona and popularity reflects a magnetic, compassionate, intelligent and humorous man with the enormous influence of a role model, which is the Michael I fell in love with," the woman wrote in her statement of charges.

The woman claimed she and Jackson spent 16 months together and "shared a consensual sexual relationship with powerful chemistry" but that he became "insanely jealous, sadistic, cruel, controlling and enraged."

Pub Date: 11/21/98

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