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Judge disallows woman's confession of abuseWESTMINSTER --...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Judge disallows woman's confession of abuse

WESTMINSTER -- A Carroll County Circuit Court judge ruled yesterday that a 31-year-old Westminster woman, charged with sexually abusing her 15-year-old foster son, involuntarily confessed to the crime.

In a written opinion, Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. granted the woman's request to suppress the taped confession, which prosecutors had planned to use as evidence against her at her pending trial.

At a suppression hearing last week, defense attorney J. Barry Hughes argued that the woman's confession to fondling her foster son was obtained only after she declined to speak to Westminster Police Lt. Dean A. Brewer and after she believed that she would receive lenient treatment if she confessed.

Judge Beck agreed.

"Instead of ceasing the interrogation the detective pressed for more information, obtained a confession that might, or might not, be true," he wrote in the opinion. "If questioning continues without a waiver of constitutional rights, then any information obtained is involuntary."

Judge Beck also threw out a diary of the woman's sexual fantasies involving her foster son, but he ruled that the woman's confession can be used by prosecutors if they cross-examine her if she testifies at her trial.

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