3 teens to get 2nd bail hearing

Youths have been held without bond in rape case

Charged in attack at school

Office of Public Defender requested another review

Ellicott City

April 21, 2004|By Gus G. Sentementes and Lisa Goldberg | Gus G. Sentementes and Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

Attorneys representing three teen-agers charged with raping a 15-year-old girl in a Mount Hebron High School bathroom are hopeful that they will be released today from the Howard County Detention Center, possibly with little or no bond.

At a hearing Friday, District Judge Sue-Ellen Hantman denied bail for the three teen-agers, and they have been held at the Howard County Detention Center. This week, the county's Office of Public Defender requested another bail review for the teens, who may be present at today's bail hearing.

"I think we may well get an idea of the way the state views this case from the position they take at the bail hearing," said Warren A. Brown, who represents one of the three, Demitris R. Myrick, 18.

Brown said he plans to ask a District Court judge to release his client on his personal pledge.

Investigators have continued to look into the girl's allegations since the teens' arrest Thursday at the Ellicott City school, police and lawyers said.

State's Attorney Timothy J. McCrone said that detectives have been on this case "incessantly," following up on "every conceivable lead, every witness." "I think people have to be patient and give the system an opportunity to work," he said. "I think the system is working very effectively and very efficiently."

The three suspects - Myrick, Christopher Berry, 16, and Roderick D. Rudolph, 15 - were charged as adults with rape, sexual offense, conspiracy to commit rape and conspiracy to commit a sexual offense. They live in Ellicott City.

The incident dropped like a bomb in the county last week, shocking school officials, students and parents. School officials conducted a security audit yesterday at Mount Hebron to review safety practices.

The Sun does not identify alleged victims of sexual offenses.

The girl told investigators that three teen-agers took her into a boys bathroom during the lunch hour, police charging documents said. She told police that one teen held her wrists, a second teen raped her, and the third acted as a lookout, the documents said. A medical examination found physical trauma consistent with forcible rape, the documents said.

But the three youths told police a different version, charging documents said. Two teens acknowledged engaging in sexual acts with her, police said, whereas the girl initially told investigators that only one teen engaged in sexual acts with her, charging documents show.

On Monday, a Howard police spokeswoman acknowledged the discrepancy to The Sun.

Lawrence B. Rosenberg, a Baltimore attorney representing Rudolph, said he was confident that his client would be acquitted.

"I feel even stronger about it now, based on discussions with [other defendants' attorneys] and witness accounts," he said.

Carol A. Hanson, the district public defender for Howard and Carroll counties, said she was "hopeful" the teens would be released on some type of bail today. She declined to comment further on the case.

Sun staff writer Tricia Bishop contributed to this article.

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