A Baltimore police officer arrested on a rape charge in October and jailed for five months has been cleared of all criminal charges and is seeking to be reinstated to the force with back pay.
Officer Charles H. Carter, 40, a 14-year veteran, was released Monday from the Baltimore City Detention Center. He had been held there since October, when his bail was revoked after prosecutors alleged he tried to contact the woman who accused him of rape.
"There are travesties of justice, and this certainly was one of them," said Carter's lawyer, Thomas Kane. "He should never have been in jail in the first place."
Deputy State's Attorney Haven H. Kodeck confirmed yesterday that his office dropped rape and assault charges Monday. A trial in Circuit Court had been scheduled for yesterday.
"There was insufficient evidence," Kodeck said. "The credibility of the victim was an issue. We could not go any further."
Carter, who had been assigned to work in the Northern District's juvenile holding area, was arrested Oct. 21 and charged with raping a 28-year-old woman who police said was his cousin. Kane said yesterday that the woman was a family friend staying at the officer's Northeast Baltimore house.
Court documents said the woman said she was assaulted when Carter got into bed with her about 9 a.m. Oct. 21. But Kane said yesterday that the woman was making up the story so she could sue the Police Department. He said Carter has a shoulder injury that makes it impossible for him to attack the woman in the way she described.
Also, Kane said Carter's sister and niece were in the next room and would have heard an attack. He said the sister and niece took the woman to a hospital, but became suspicious when the woman seemed "more concerned about talking to an attorney instead of going to the hospital."
A meeting to determine if Carter can be reinstated has not been scheduled.
Pub Date: 4/04/97