Ex-mayor of Washington ordered to pay $35,000 in damages in suit

Barry accused of shoving janitor in BWI bathroom

October 18, 2002|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

Former Washington Mayor Marion S. Barry Jr. was ordered yesterday to pay $35,000 in damages to a Baltimore custodian who said Barry shoved her and indecently exposed himself in an airport bathroom two years ago.

Custodian Terrie Jenkins, 31, was awarded the judgment after suing Barry in Baltimore Circuit Court. The former mayor did not attend the two-day trial.

"He didn't mind exposing himself to Terrie, but I don't think he wanted to expose himself to me," said Jenkins' attorney, Barry R. Glazer.

Barry, 66, who left his third term in office in disgrace in 1991 and spent six months in jail after being videotaped smoking crack cocaine in a Washington hotel, could not be reached for comment.

Last year, he was sentenced to a year's probation and community service for an assault charge stemming from the bathroom incident, which occurred at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Barry agreed to the sentence in a plea deal in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in April of last year. In the agreement, the charge of indecent exposure was dropped.

After the sentencing, Barry declared, "She is not going to get a penny."

According to the lawsuit settled yesterday, Jenkins was cleaning a temporarily closed bathroom at the airport when Barry tried to enter July 6, 2000. Barry, who had just gotten off a plane, shoved Jenkins aside when she told him it was closed, Glazer said.

Barry then shoved her again, declaring, "Don't you know who I am?" as he walked inside the bathroom, according to the suit. He then indecently exposed himself and urinated, Glazer said.

The four-term mayor vehemently denied the allegations in the past, saying that since his prostate cancer surgery in 1995, he needs to urinate more frequently and with greater urgency.

Barry filed criminal charges against Jenkins, a mother of five who now is a custodian at a Baltimore hospital, but the charges were dropped by prosecutors.

As Jenkins' civil case proceeded early this year, Barry refused to meet with her attorney, prompting Judge Thomas J.S. Waxter Jr. to sanction Barry by prohibiting him from testifying in his own defense at trial, Glazer said.

Waxter, who decided yesterday's case, awarded Jenkins $35,000 on grounds of assault, false imprisonment and false arrest. Half of the judgment was for punitive damages.

Her original suit sought $300,000.

Sun staff writer Andrea F. Siegel contributed to this article.

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