Mfume's son charged with rape in Georgia


The 24-year-old son of Rep. Kweisi Mfume has been charged with the rape of an acquaintance at her suburban Atlanta apartment after an early morning breakfast at a nearby restaurant, police confirmed yesterday.

Michael Gerard Mfume, a music video producer from Baltimore, was arrested July 14 at the 25-year-old woman's apartment in Dunwoody, Ga., north of Atlanta, and sat in the county jail until Monday evening, when he was released on $35,000 bond, Fulton County police said.

He was charged with one count of rape, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment in Georgia, police said.

After pleading not guilty at a preliminary hearing before a Fulton County magistrate Friday, the case was referred to that county's district attorney for presentation to the grand jury, said Officer Barry L. Batson, a police spokesman.

Because of the seriousness of the charge, Mr. Mfume was ordered back to the Fulton County Jail, pending a bail petition hearing before a Superior Court judge, which could not be scheduled before Monday.

Mr. Mfume, who was in Atlanta filming last week, returned to his home in Baltimore Tuesday, said his lawyer, Alvin L. Kendall, in a telephone interview from Georgia.

Mr. Mfume, who gave Fulton County police addresses in the 500 block of Sanford Place and the 1900 block of Mount Royal Terrace, did not return a reporter's phone call yesterday.

The elder Mr. Mfume, a Baltimore Democrat who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, issued a statement, but declined to answer questions.

"Michael, like anyone else, is innocent until proven guilty," the congressman said in the statement. "His mother and I believe he will be found innocent. We have faith that the American system of justice will produce a fair outcome for Michael."

Officer Batson said Fulton County police received a call from the woman 7:15 a.m. on July 14, reporting the rape, which she alleged occurred between 4:30 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. Mr. Mfume, who allegedly had left the apartment earlier in the morning, showed up about 8:30 a.m. and was arrested, he said.

The woman said she went to a nearby restaurant for breakfast with Mr. Mfume and "other friends," according to a police report.

"After that, she and Mfume returned to her apartment," the report continued. "She said that they were kissing and in close contact for a long while, but that she made it clear to him that she did not want to have sexual intercourse. She said that he was persistent and [he] removed her clothes."

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