Carroll's state's attorney is expected to drop assault and deadly weapon charges today against a Union Bridge woman who had approached her ex-husband with a kitchen knife as a state trooper questioned him about her rape allegations.
"We feel that what she did should not be held against her, especially when we take into account the circumstances," State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman said yesterday. "Her reaction -- after she had been raped -- is perfectly understand
able. She's been through enough already."
The woman, who had accused her ex-husband of rape, was arrested last week after an assistant state's attorney allowed a state trooper to file charges of assault, reckless endangerment and intent to injure another person with a deadly weapon. She was released on $2,000 bond after her parents posted their home as security. If convicted on the charges, she would have faced 30 years in state prison.
Mr. Hickman said yesterday the decision to prosecute the woman was made by "an assistant." He said neither he nor Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill -- who prosecutes sex crimes -- knew of the decision until after the woman's arrest.
"After we were made aware of it, we decided immediately to drop the charges," Mr. Hickman said. "We are not in the business of just charging everybody, but we must take circumstances surrounding an action into account."
Mr. Hickman said he asked an assistant state's attorney to drop the charges in District Court on Tuesday, but a scheduling mix-up delayed the action until today.
The woman's ex-husband -- whose name is not being used to shield her identity -- was charged Oct. 11 with first-degree rape.
A Carroll grand jury returned a three-count indictment against him Thursday, charging him with first-degree rape, second-degree rape and battery. He is being held at the Carroll County Detention Center on $50,000 bond pending trial.
According to police accounts filed in District Court, the man entered his ex-wife's house on Oct. 11, proclaiming that he loved her. He then pinned her against her bed, stuck his fingers down her throat and raped her, court records show.
After the man left the house, the woman called state police, records said. When the trooper arrived, he found the man in the back yard with the woman's father.
After an initial conversation, the trooper was leading the man toward his cruiser, parked in front of the house. As they neared the car, the trooper "observed [the woman] to be approaching us with a large knife over her head," court records said.
The ex-husband ran, and the trooper drew his service revolver. The woman dropped the knife, within 12 feet of the trooper, after her father grabbed her from behind.
The trooper pressed charges only after he "contacted the state's attorney's office, and they recommended she be charged," court records said.