Testimony continues in officer's rape case

January 13, 2007|By Julie Bykowicz

The 23-year-old woman who accused a Baltimore police officer of coercing sex from her inside a district station house continued testifying yesterday.

Officer Jemini Jones, 29, is the first of three officers accused in the incident to stand trial on rape charges in Baltimore Circuit Court. Trials for Officers Brian Shaffer and Steven Hatley, who are accused of doing nothing to stop Jones, are scheduled to follow.

The officers were members of the Southwestern District "flex squad," a specialized group of officers who investigated mostly drug cases. All three have been suspended without pay since being indicted a year ago.

The alleged victim, who was cross-examined by a defense attorney nearly all day yesterday, testified that Jones took her and her female friend to the Southwestern District station house in handcuffs Dec. 27, 2005, and threatened to send her to jail on drug charges unless she had sex with him. She testified yesterday that Jones was wearing his police uniform when he arrested her.

The Sun does not name alleged victims of sex crimes.

In her opening statement, defense attorney Janice L. Bledsoe said the woman was a new police informant and that she devised the sex story as a cover when two friends saw her stepping out of a police car.

Yesterday, Bledsoe questioned the woman about what she said were inconsistencies in three tape-recorded statements she made to police about the alleged rape. But Baltimore Circuit Judge Wanda K. Heard halted that line of questioning because the woman repeatedly said she did not believe the transcripts of the recordings to be accurate.

On Tuesday, Heard said, the portions of the recordings in question will be played so that jurors can hear for themselves what the woman told police.

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