State Digest

May 10, 2007

Appeals court takes consensual sex case

Maryland's highest court agreed yesterday to hear a case that turns on whether consensual sex can become rape if one partner says "no" at any time.

Women's advocacy groups, angered by a lower court's ruling, had backed the attorney general's office's request that the Court of Appeals take up the matter.

The case stems from a report of a sexual assault in 2003 in Montgomery County.

Judges in the state's intermediate appeals court said they had to follow a 1980 decision, which ruled that sex that continues after a woman withdraws her consent is not rape.

The Court of Appeals did not set a date for oral arguments.

ANDREA F. SIEGEL

Washington Co.

: Hagerstown

Reputed Pagans leader arrested

A 66-year-old man described as a top-ranking leader of the Pagans motorcycle club was arrested early yesterday on weapons charges in a raid on his Hagerstown home by a law enforcement task force that turned up firearms and explosive devices, state police announced.

The task force -- including agents from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the state police and fire marshal's office, and the county sheriff's office -- carried out a search warrant and surrounded the home of Jay Carl Wagner on Antietam Drive shortly before 6 a.m. They deployed a robot to check the house for booby traps, police said.

A search turned up more than 20 firearms, including handguns and rifles, as well as improvised explosive devices and large quantities of ammunition, according to the state police.

Because of his record of convictions for violent offenses, Wagner is prohibited from possessing the weapons and ammunition, police said. Details of his record were not divulged, however.

"It is a major blow to this criminal organization to have this man taken into custody," said First Sgt. Russell Newell a state police spokesman.

Nia-Malika Henderson

Baltimore

: Circuit Court

Sentence in Medicaid fraud

A Charles County man who bilked the Medicaid program out of at least $150,000 through his operation of a mental health clinic in Baltimore was sentenced yesterday in city Circuit Court to five years of home detention and ordered to repay the money, the Maryland attorney general's office announced.

Angelo Reynolds of White Plains, who has a doctorate in education and is a former police officer, billed Medicaid for phantom sessions during a seven-month period through June 2004, seeking $496,000 for treatment of patients who did not have assigned therapists and who had not made contact with his company, MYPO Inc., the attorney general's office said.

The MYPO clinic received patients through referrals from Bridges Project LLC, a provider of counseling services to Medicaid recipients, mostly children. Two owners of Bridges, Guy Bell and Robin Carroll-El, have been charged with defrauding Medicaid of as much as $4 million and are scheduled for trial Wednesday, the announcement said.

A psychiatrist affiliated with Bridges, Dr. James An Nguyen of Randallstown, received an 18-month sentence in 2005 for defrauding Medicaid of about $340,000 -- allowing the counseling service to use his provider number to bill for therapy sessions that he did not provide or supervise and in return receiving 20 percent of the $1.7 million in resulting payments for the illegal claims.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON

Somerset County

: Princess Anne

Dog gas chamber may be closed

County dog control employees might stop using a gas chamber for euthanizing dogs after animal rights groups complained and county leaders agreed to consider a new method.

After a closed meeting Tuesday, County Administrator Charles Massey said commissioners were considering lethal injections of phenobarbital after administering a tranquilizer.

The animal rights groups wanted to meet with county officials because five puppies were gassed recently. "It's not that they did anything wrong," Humane Society of Somerset County President Carol Greer said of the county employees. "It's just that the gas chamber is not the way to go."

Greer said a veterinarian has volunteered to teach employees how to administer the injections so the county will not have to pay for training.

Associated Press

Wicomico County

: Salisbury

Honorary high school diplomas

Korean war veteran Robert Van Meter, 72, was surprised when he was recently invited to a high school graduation ceremony -- for himself.

Van Meter, who left high school early to go to war, joined four other veterans Tuesday at a specially planned graduation ceremony during the Wicomico County Board of Education meeting. A year ago, the board voted to give diplomas to any veteran through the Vietnam War who left high school in the junior or senior year.

Receiving diplomas were Van Meter and fellow Korean War veteran Donald Duffel, Vietnam veterans Glen Naundorf and Danny Foxwell, and World War II veteran Hollis Truitt.

"It feels real nice. I've been waiting for years," Truitt said.

Associated Press

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