Sex crime charges against Baltimore youth mentor dropped

Back in early February, we wrote about a case in which a 48-year-old director of B-Moor Youth Services, a faith-based youth mentoring organization in Baltimore, was accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old client of the organization. The allegations shocked the city and threatened the man’s freedom, reputation and career. However, prosecutors later dropped all charges against the defendant.

According to the police, the man had started a relationship with the young girl last December. Authorities were convinced that the two had consensual sex several times at his residence in northwest Baltimore. Eventually, the girl allegedly told her parents about the relationship, which led to the man’s arrest. He was charged with rape, child abuse, assault and other sexual charges.

The Baltimore State’s Attorney noted that the recent decision to drop all charges against the youth mentor was “based on a careful and thorough review of the evidence.” When pressed for further explanation, none was given. The public is left to wonder if the case was dropped due to a mistaken arrest, an error on the prosecution’s part, an issue with evidence or an issue with the alleged victim and her family.

While the youth mentor and his family are undoubtedly thrilled that the charges have been dropped, experts say they may want a more thorough explanation to be made public. After all, the mentor’s name has been muddied, and many parents may be left wondering if it is safe to allow their children to return to the youth center.

Despite the lack of a clear explanation, this case illustrates how the criminal justice system should work. If prosecutors do not have strong, convincing evidence that is handled properly or if protocol is not followed, a case should not be pursued.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Crime Scenes: Rape case dropped,” Peter Hermann, 19 March 2011