Wingate indicted by Howard grand jury Ex-Dunbar star faces rape, assault charges


San Antonio Spurs guard David Wingate was indicted yesterday by a Howard County grand jury on charges of raping a Baltimore teen-ager who said she was sexually assaulted at his Columbia home Sunday after getting drunk on beer and tequila.

Wingate, 26, who starred at Baltimore's Dunbar High School and Georgetown University before entering professional basketball, was charged with second-degree rape, assault and battery and unauthorized sexual contact.

He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Wingate was freed on $10,000 bond after his arrest Monday. Dwight S. Thompson, the county's deputy state's attorney, said the bail was kept so low because it is considered unlikely that Wingate would fail to show up for trial.

"He is very well-known and not the kind of person who is going to hide himself," Thompson said.

Wingate could not be reached yesterday for comment. He has told police that he had intercourse with the Baltimore teen-ager, but that it was consensual.

In addition to the Howard County charges, Wingate also faces a civil suit filed in San Antonio on behalf of a woman who alleges that she was raped by Wingate and later sexually assaulted by two of his friends at his San Antonio apartment on June 24, 1989.

The San Antonio woman, 22, alleged in the suit that she met Wingate at a local night club, where he bought several drinks for her before offering her a ride home. On the way, she said, she became ill and he stopped the car.

The suit said that Wingate raped the woman on the on the side of the road about a block from his apartment and then took her home, where "he allowed two other friends of his to rape her."

San Antonio police have confirmed that they also are investigating the charges against Wingate.

Marynell Maloney, the attorney for the San Antonio woman, criticized the police, saying they have been slow to investigate the complaint.

"The police basically chose to slow-ball it," Maloney said. "Unfortunately, the Maryland incident may not have happened if they had acted properly."

San Antonio police also said they are investigating an unusual incident in which a message was scrawled in lipstick on a bathroom mirror at Wingate's apartment there, and a female doll pierced by needles was found in a master bedroom. Police would not reveal the contents of the message.

A National Basketball Association official declined to comment on the allegations against Wingate, but said standard professional contracts carry a morals clause that would allow the league to take disciplinary action against a player convicted of such an offense, the San Antonio Express-News reported yesterday.

As a senior at Dunbar, Wingate starred on the Poets' undefeated 1981-82 team.

At Georgetown, he averaged 12.8 points in four seasons and played on the Hoyas' 1984 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship team.

Last season, his first with the Spurs, Wingate averaged 6.8 points in 78 games as a backup. San Antonio acquired him from the Philadelphia 76ers in August 1989 with guard Maurice Cheeks and center Christian Welp for guard Johnny Dawkins and forward Jay Vincent.

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