Man is arrested in rape

Suspect in Roland Park attack has history of assault arrests

August 29, 2007|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,Sun reporter

A man with a history of arrests for robbery and sexual assault in Baltimore County and the city has been charged with raping a 59-year-old woman during a home invasion robbery last week in Roland Park.

Chaz Ricks, 20, was arrested late Monday and is being held at the city Central Booking and Intake Center. City police were looking last night for a second man involved in the crime.

The woman was still in the hospital last night, police said, because her back was injured in the attack. The Sun does not name people who have reported sex crimes.

Charging documents against Ricks describe a brutal assault and rape Thursday night in a home in Tuxedo Park, a tiny neighborhood behind the Eddie's supermarket.

The attackers may have targeted the woman while she was out shopping that day and followed her home, police said.

Alone in her kitchen about 8 p.m., the woman was putting away groceries and making herself dinner when she heard footsteps behind her, according to charging documents. When she turned around, she saw two men pointing handguns at her; they had entered a front door that she had forgotten to lock.

The men took $7 from her purse on the dining room table and told her they were going upstairs to look for more money.

One man grabbed the woman, documents say, and she fell to the floor and started to lose consciousness. She told her attackers she could no longer stand or move, the documents say. One man carried her upstairs.

After the assault, the men left, slamming the front door. The woman called 911.

Police would not say yesterday whether Ricks is the man accused of raping the woman, or if he is suspected of being the man described in charging documents as being downstairs at the time.

Ricks, who has given police home addresses in the city and Baltimore County, has been charged in four other violent encounters -- including a home invasion robbery and rape in northeastern Baltimore County with similarities to the Roland Park attack.

None of those cases made it to trial.

In a Baltimore County case, a woman told police that two men wearing ski masks confronted her March 9 last year, as she was entering her basement apartment in Nottingham. One man had a black revolver, according to charging documents.

One of the men struck the woman on the head with the gun and, once in her apartment, continually pointed the gun at her, charging documents say.

After the men ransacked the apartment, one of them pistol-whipped her. The woman told police she blacked out and could not remember what happened next.

Ricks was arrested in February, but prosecutors dropped the case, saying it was too weak.

Leo Ryan, a deputy Baltimore County state's attorney, said the only evidence against Ricks was a statement by a co-defendant.

Under state law, the uncorroborated statement of a co-defendant is not sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.

"The victim couldn't ID him," Ryan said. "And there was no forensic evidence, meaning no fingerprints, no bodily fluids, no hair."

A month ago, prosecutors dropped charges against Ricks.

Ricks also has been charged in three violent cases in the city. Court records show two addresses for him, an apartment in the 3100 block of St. Lukes Lane in Gwynn Oak and a home in the 5300 block of Gist Ave in Northwest Baltimore.

In August 2005, he was charged with first- and second-degree assault, accused of stabbing his female cousin in the eye during a fight.

Prosecutors said they placed the case on the inactive docket when an elderly neighbor told authorities that Ricks grabbed the knife from his cousin and stabbed her in self-defense.

In April last year, Ricks was charged with sexual solicitation of a minor, fourth-degree sex offense, harassment and assault.

Two 16-year-old girls accused him of following them in the 6900 block of McClean Blvd. and grabbing the buttocks of one while pressing up against her, according to charging documents.

The charges were placed on the District Court's inactive docket in June last year. The reason was unclear last night.

In November, Ricks was charged with first- and second-degree assault and handgun violations after being accused of firing a handgun inside an apartment. A bullet passed through a wall and struck someone sleeping in the next-door apartment, court documents say.

But a memorandum from a prosecutor said all charges "unfortunately" were dismissed a month later because no one witnessed Ricks firing the gun.

Ricks also has been a victim of violence.

In February, Ricks was shot in the left shoulder, right leg and right thigh in the 3300 block of E. Baltimore St., according to police reports. No arrests have been made in that case.

Sun reporter Josh Mitchell contributed to this article.

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