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Rape defendant ordered to stay away from his kin


Ralph Paul Ash, 37, was ordered by the court yesterday to stay away from his wife and two sons until at least January.

For the moment, that will not be a problem. The Woodbine man is being held in the county jail without bail on charges that he raped and kidnapped a neighbor last Wednesday, holding her hostage and police at bay for some 13 hours.

Mr. Ash appeared in Carroll Circuit Court yesterday and denied that he ever abused his twin 5-year-old sons or his wife, as she claimed at an emergency hearing a day before the hostage incident.

Linda Lee Ash, his estranged wife, was granted a protective order yesterday. Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold said the order -- while possibly moot, since Mr. Ash is in the Carroll County Detention Center awaiting trial on charges that could put him behind bars for life -- would be in effect until Jan. 9, 1995.

Mr. Ash denied Mrs. Ash's allegations that he poked the children with hot bars. He did not deny slashing her car tires, but he did dispute her allegation that he threatened to kill her with a knife on July 4.

Mr. Ash was arrested after the standoff and charged with rape, kidnapping, burglary and other offenses. No trial date has been set.

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