Youth charged in rapes taken off monitoring

Teen is disabled at home from automobile accident

Former Key High wrestling star

Judge orders boy placed on pretrial supervision

May 22, 2002|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

A 17-year-old accused of raping four teen-age girls can forgo wearing a home monitoring bracelet because the boy is physically and mentally disabled as the result of a serious car accident, a Carroll judge ruled yesterday.

Nathaniel J. Yinger of the 2800 block of Basehores Mill Road near Taneytown sustained a severe head injury in an automobile accident March 8 and was at Maryland Shock Trauma Center for about four weeks before being returned home to his parents. The $600 home-monitoring bracelet was cut from him and lost, said defense attorney Fred S. Hecker.

Yinger undergoes physical and speech therapy for three to four hours every weekday at Kernan Hospital in Baltimore, and his parents are having financial difficulty, Hecker told Judge Luke K. Burns Jr.

"Nathaniel was so near death that they administered last rites in the hospital," Hecker said of Yinger, who since the accident is "17 years old chronologically [but] developmentally more like a young child."

Yinger has low energy, is on medication and requires a walker for balance, and his speech remains largely incoherent, the attorney said.

The former Francis Scott Key High School wrestling star withdrew in his senior year just before he was charged with multiple counts of rape, sodomy, sexual assault and assault last year against three young women at unsupervised overnight drinking parties, and against a fourth at her home after school. Over prosecutors' objections, Yinger was placed on home detention after his parents put up their home to secure his $50,000 bail Nov. 2.

After listening to Hecker, Burns called him and Deputy State's Attorney Tracy A. Gilmore to the bench for a conference inaudible to the public. Burns then granted the defense motion to drop the private monitoring program and ordered that Yinger be placed on intensive pretrial supervision under the Carroll County sheriff's office.

Gilmore previously had opposed the motion, saying that Yinger violated the terms of his release because he was playing golf the morning of the automobile accident, and because neither her office nor the home-detention company was notified of his release from the trauma center. But if he were placed at the Carroll County Detention Center, she said, the county would have to attend to his medical needs.

Maryland State Police are investigating the circumstances of Yinger's accident on Tyrone Road northwest of Westminster, which was attributed to his speeding in the police report and reportedly involved other juveniles. Gilmore said no charges have been filed.

Still to be decided in the sexual assault cases are defense motions to have Yinger tried as a juvenile and to have him declared incompetent to stand trial as a result of the accident.

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