Teen is barred from Mount Hebron

He is 1 of 3 falsely accused of rape in Howard County

May 07, 2004|By Tricia Bishop | Tricia Bishop,SUN STAFF

At least one of the three students cleared of charges of raping a 15-year-old girl at Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City will not be allowed to return to the school, his attorney said yesterday.

Lawrence B. Rosenberg, who represents Roderick D. Rudolph, 15, met with a Howard schools official yesterday, along with the youth and his mother. The attorney said he was told the teen would be banned from the school for the rest of the academic year. Rudolph will be sent to evening classes, beginning Tuesday, and likely be moved to another county school when classes resume in August.

"It was not unexpected," Rosenberg said. "To me, it's just a shame."

The three Mount Hebron students who were falsely accused of rape maintained that two of them engaged in consensual sex with the girl. After they were jailed for six days, police said the girl recanted and the charges were dropped.

The three teen-agers were suspended last week for 10 days by Principal Veronica Bohn, who, in a letter to the families, recommended they receive harsher punishment from the superintendent's office "because of the serious nature" of their behavior.

Only the superintendent or his designee - in this case, Craig Cummings, coordinator of alternative education - may extend a suspension.

Cummings confirmed last night that he had met with Rudolph, a freshman, as well as the family of a second boy, sophomore Christopher S. Berry, 16. A meeting with the third teen-ager, Demitris R. Myrick, 18, a sophomore, is set for next week.

Berry's mother said yesterday she had met with Cummings this week, but declined to comment on the outcome, and Cummings said confidentiality laws prevent him from giving details.

Rosenberg said Rudolph's suspension was extended not for sexual activity, but for disrupting the school.

"How is this disruptive of school? I still don't understand it," the attorney said.

The girl who made the false allegations - who is not being named because she is a minor who has not been charged with a crime as an adult - declined to comment through her attorney. Officials said they had met with her family last week to discuss disciplinary action.

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