Allegations against Jackson under review by prosecutors Woman has filed charges against 2 others since '95

November 26, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Baltimore prosecutors are reviewing a set of sexual assault charges that a woman filed a week ago against Ravens wide receiver Michael Jackson, but have not yet decided whether to proceed with a case.

"We will look hard into this," said Assistant State's Attorney Laura Mullally, the chief of the District Court division. "It will be up to prosecutors whether to pursue the charges, refer them to a grand jury or have them dropped."

Mullally said her office also is reviewing charges that the 44-year-old woman has filed against two other men since 1995, all of which involve complaints similar to what she alleges occurred with Jackson.

Court files detail tumultuous relationships that the woman has had with two boyfriends, one of whom has been convicted twice of beating her and destroying her property and charged with repeatedly making threatening phone calls to her from jail.

In Jackson's case, the woman charged last Friday that she had a 16-month relationship with him that turned increasingly dangerous. She said Jackson visited her Highlandtown home, threatened her and forced her to perform sex acts over the course of several months.

On the day she filed charges, the woman begged a District Court commissioner to issue an arrest warrant for the 29-year-old football player. "I pray for justice for having to live this nightmare every day of my life," she wrote at the end of her eight-page sworn statement.

Instead, a District Court commissioner -- who signed off on the 11 charges that include three counts of felony assault, sex abuse, false imprisonment and sodomy -- issued a summons ordering Jackson to appear in court Dec. 30.

"If the court commissioner thought there was an issue of safety, she would have issued an [arrest] warrant," Mullally said.

Jackson's fiancee, Vanessa Williams of Columbia, said last week that the player has never met the woman. The Sun does not name people who allege that they are victims of sexual abuse.

Jackson has hired lawyer Arnold M. Weiner, best known for persuading the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn former Gov. Marvin Mandel's corruption conviction.

"These charges are totally absurd," Weiner said yesterday. "It's encouraging to hear that others have taken the time to look into court records and put a light on the background of the habitual complainant. This is a situation that cries out for a prompt and merciful dismissal."

The woman could not be reached to comment yesterday; she declined to say anything last week. But a review of numerous court files yesterday detailed a troubled four years.

She has twice charged a Baltimore County man with assaults and threats. And she has twice charged a cousin of another boyfriend with making threats. Prosectors declined to go forward with those cases.

She has charged her ex-boyfriend, Terry A. Jenkins, eight times in the past three years with a variety of crimes, from kidnapping to harassment. He has been convicted twice -- sentenced to 60 days in jail in 1996 for destroying her property and to 11 months pTC in 1995 for battery. Two assault cases against Jenkins are pending.

Jenkins could not be reached to comment yesterday.

Pub Date: 11/26/98

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