Ex-manager of restaurant acquitted of sex assault

Maryland

April 14, 2006|By ANNIE LINSKEY

The former manager of a popular Eastport restaurant was acquitted this week of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old dishwasher.

Edward J. Farrell, 45, of Annapolis had faced assault and sex offense charges in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court after the dishwasher was found by police in June lying in a pool of his own blood next to the Boatyard Bar and Grill. The Spanish-speaking man was extremely drunk when he was found and had been sexually assaulted, according to police.

T. Joseph Touhey, Farrell's lawyer, argued that the 18-year-old could have accidentially injured himself.

Assistant State's Attorney Frank J. Ragione Sr. said his case was hampered by the state's inability to find a co-worker who would have placed Farrell and the dishwasher drinking together outside the bar an hour before the victim was found.

"It would have filled a gap in the case," Ragione said. He said the witness uses different names and that the Annapolis police had been looking for him for several months.

The 18-year-old had a blood-alcohol level of .28 and testified, through an interpreter, that he could not remember the assault.

Circuit Judge Joseph P. Manck declined to comment on his decision Wednesday to acquit Farrell.

Annapolis police went to the restaurant at 2:40 a.m. June 27 after an alarm was set off there. The officer saw Farrell locking the establishment and heard a man groaning on the ground, according to charging documents. Farrell initially said the 18-year-old was "just a drunk guy." Farrell was fired after his arrest.

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