Investigator in JROTC sex assault case admits error

Detective did not take uniforms from sergeant's home during search

November 03, 2010|By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun

The lead investigator in the case of a former Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps instructor charged with having sex with one of his students admitted in court Wednesday that he made a mistake by failing to seize any of Sgt. Charles Ray Moore's uniforms during a search of Moore's Bowie home.

Under cross-examination from attorney Thomas Morrow, Howard County Detective Mark Orlofsky said "it was an error" not to take the uniform that Moore might have been wearing when a 17-year-old student said she had sex with him in the JROTC supply closet at Atholton High School. A "faint" trace of semen found in the room did not match Moore's DNA. Handprints belonging to the young woman were detected.

Moore's accuser, now 18 and a student at Howard Community College, finished her testimony Wednesday, and Moore took the witness stand for nearly two hours later in the day. Butit was Orlofsky's admission that Morrow seemed to think would further plant seeds of doubt in a jury that will likely start deliberating Thursday in Howard County Circuit Court.

"I think it's a major error, and to be very honest, I've won cases on a lot less," Morrow said outside the courthouse, with Moore standing next to him. "The jury is very attuned these days to issues of scientific evidence. I don't think you have to be a trained police detective to realize that in a case like this, you might be kind of interested in the evidence on his clothes."

Orlofsky, who had been promoted to detective two months before the alleged incident in May, said another detective had coached the girl when she called Moore twice trying to get him to talk about having sex with her. Moore said during one taped conversation played in court that he was cutting his grass, then hung up on her when she called back.

Moore, 52, who served in a presidential honor guard during his 20-year Army career, was charged with two counts of fourth-degree sex offense as well as having sex with a minor while in a supervisory capacity. During his testimony, Moore said he advised the student on many personal issues — including two pregnancies — but never had an intimate relationship or conversation with her.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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