Former councilman receives 2nd sexual assault conviction

First verdict was reversed over withheld information

September 24, 1999|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

A former Havre de Grace councilman was convicted for a second time yesterday in Harford County Circuit Court on charges of child molestation stemming from an incident that occurred more than 20 years ago. The first conviction was overturned.

Charles A. Maslin III, 41, was found guilty of two counts of second-degree sexual offense, and one count of third-degree sexual offense for molesting James C. Waters, in incidents between 1978 and 1982.

The state's intermediate appeals court in January overturned his convictions in a previous trial because the jury was kept from hearing about a civil suit Waters -- who was 9 years old when the incidents began -- had against Maslin.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours yesterday before returning the guilty verdicts. Stuart Robinson, Maslin's lawyer, immediately filed a motion for a new trial.

"The evidence supported what Mr. Maslin said, which was that he was bisexual and that he and [Waters] had a relationship from 1985 to 1987," Robinson said.

Harford County Assistant State's Attorney M. Teresa Garland said the victim gave graphic testimony about abuse and came across to the jury as sincere and convincing. "I'm relieved it's over," said Garland. "I think it was a very clean trial."

Maslin, was first convicted in November 1997 of child abuse and three related sex offenses. Harford County Circuit Court Judge Thomas E. Marshall sentenced him at that time to 15 years in prison.

Waters -- who went public with the allegations -- had testified that as a youngster he and his mother moved into the home of his riding teacher, Charles Maslin's mother, to be close to her and the horses on her farm. Maslin sexually abused him, Waters said, but, fearing he would lose his home and riding lessons, Waters didn't tell his mother until 1992.

After a suicide attempt as a young adult and problems with drugs and alcohol, Waters told counselors and then police.

Waters sued Maslin in a civil case for $1.6 million in February 1997, nine months before the criminal trial, arguing that Maslin "tried to kiss and perform other sexual acts" on him in May 1996, when Waters was wearing a body wire in Maslin's home at the request of police. That case is still pending.

Maslin, owner of the Ice Dreams ice cream parlor in Havre de Grace, was elected to office in May 1996 and resigned after his conviction. He was taken into custody and transported to the Harford County Detention Center yesterday after the trial.

A sentencing hearing, as well as a hearing on the motion for a new trial, is scheduled for Oct. 7.

Pub Date: 9/24/99

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