Man charged with rape attempt

Man, 27, was arrested last month, released, then rearrested


A Jessup man whose criminal case has prompted questions about decisions by a police officer, a prosecutor and a judge from Anne Arundel County was indicted Friday on charges that he tried to rape a woman in her Odenton home.

James Ervin Darnell, 27, was indicted on eight counts including attempted rape and burglary, said Kristin Riggin, spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office.

The sex-related charges are the first against Darnell in connection with a Feb. 13 break-in and the attack on the woman.

"The allegations are not unexpected based on what they have," said David P. Putzi, Darnell's lawyer. Based in part on his client's confession to police, he said, this is a robbery case.

On Feb. 13, Darnell was charged with burglary, attempted robbery and misdemeanor assault. He was jailed overnight in lieu of $750,000 bail.

The next day, after an assistant prosecutor did not vigorously press to retain the high bail, a District Court judge reduced bail to $50,000. Darnell posted bond and was released from jail.

Upset that Darnell had been released, prosecutors asked police to arrest him again on Feb. 15, this time on charges of felony assault and reckless endangerment. He was ordered held without bail after prosecutors told a judge for the first time that Darnell had a tube of lubricating jelly in his pocket when he was arrested Feb. 13.

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