Shropshire's Wife Appears To Retract Charges

July 02, 2009|By Nicole Fuller | Nicole Fuller,nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

The wife of an Annapolis alderman who is running for mayor appeared to say Wednesday in an e-mail that the abuse allegations she made against her husband in a 1986 court filing were "exaggerated" and "not true."

Jana Shropshire, who is married to Alderman Samuel E. Shropshire, refused a telephone interview, and the authenticity of the e-mail could not be verified yesterday.

Samuel Shropshire, 61, denied on Tuesday the 23-year-old accusations. Shropshire, a Democrat, has been accused of groping a Naval Academy midshipman May 14 and has been charged with second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense. He has called the accusation "a lie."

The e-mail, titled "Setting the record straight," purports to be written by Jana Shropshire, who proclaims her husband's innocence, calling the divorce claim "a big mistake" that now causes her "regret."

Jana Shropshire made the accusations in a Montgomery County divorce filing that also contained allegations that the alderman "has a problem with homosexuality" but said he had been "cured" before they were married.

When reached by telephone at her home in Poprad, Slovakia, on Tuesday, Jana Shropshire said, "I don't want to talk about it. It's all in the past."

But in her purported e-mail sent after The Baltimore Sun published an account of the divorce claim, she said she made the allegations because of stress from arguments, compounded by difficulties adjusting to life in the United States, learning a new culture and language.

"There was a lot of vindictiveness on my part," the e-mail says. "I was advised to say things about him that were exaggerated and many of the statements I made were simply not true. The charges that my husband hit me with his fist or beat me are exaggerated and not true."

In her the e-mail, Jana Shropshire also addresses her husband's sexuality, saying that her husband told her he was gay before they were married and that her husband has been open about his sexuality, talking with various news media outlets in the late 1980s.

"In our simple belief in God we proceeded with marriage, hoping above all hopes for a miracle that he could be 'cured' from homosexuality," the e-mail says.

Gill Cochran, Samuel Shropshire's lawyer, said his client has always been open about being gay, and while still legally married, is "no longer" with his wife.

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