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Woodbine man indicted on abuse charges

THE BALTIMORE SUN

A Woodbine man who is in the county jail accused of raping a neighbor and holding her hostage was indicted yesterday on charges that he abused his wife and children.

The 17-count indictment accuses Ralph Paul Ash, 37, of assaulting his wife between January and July 13, when he is accused of keeping police at bay for some 13 hours until he surrendered.

Mr. Ash's wife had made the accusations July 12 in her application for a court order to protect her from her husband. The order was granted and later extended until January.

The grand jury also returned a nine-count indictment in the hostage case. That indictment -- which includes charges of first-degree rape, kidnapping and burglary -- moves the case from the district court to Circuit Court. A preliminary hearing in both cases is set for September.

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