Baltimore prosecutors dropped 11 criminal charges yesterday against Ravens wide receiver Michael Jackson, clearing the football player of allegations that he raped and abused a Highlandtown woman.
The decision, entered into court records yesterday, comes three weeks before Jackson, 29, had been scheduled to make his first appearance in District Court on East North Avenue.
"It is unfortunate that prominent professional athletes are easy targets for unfounded complaints," a statement from Jackson's lawyers, Arnold M. Weiner and Steven A. Allen, said.
"Michael can now turn his attention back to his family, his career and Sunday's game."
Weiner declined to comment further.
The 44-year-old woman -- a former school teacher in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County who was convicted four years ago of having sex with a student -- swore out the criminal complaint Nov. 21.
She said yesterday that she was unaware of the state's attorney's actions and she declined to comment. The Sun does not name women who say they are victims of sexual abuse.
It could not be learned yesterday why prosecutors dropped the charges. Assistant State's Attorney Laura Mullally, the chief of the District Court division, could not be reached for comment. In an interview last month, Mullally said her staff "will look hard" into the accusations.
The woman had filed an eight-page complaint alleging that she had a 16-month relationship with Jackson, during which she accused him of forcing her to perform sex acts and holding her against her will.
She had charged Jackson with two counts of second-degree sex offense, a third-degree sex offense, three counts of second-degree assault, two counts of perverted practice, one count of sodomy, one count of harassment and one count of false imprisonment.
The woman has twice charged a Baltimore County man with assaults and threats, both of which prosecutors declined to pursue.
She has charged her ex-boyfriend eight times in the past three years with a variety of crimes, from kidnapping to harassment. He has been convicted twice, for battery and destroying her property.
Pub Date: 12/12/98