Nearly three weeks after a Baltimore County man running for the U.S. Senate was charged with raping his wife, county prosecutors dropped all charges yesterday against David B. Dickerson, saying that there was "insufficient evidence" to proceed with the case.
Dickerson's wife, meanwhile, was arrested this week in Virginia and charged with trespassing after being accused of kicking in the door of her husband's parents' house in an effort to see him, according to Virginia authorities and Dickerson's lawyer.
"From the very beginning, when we saw the charges, we knew they were completely fabricated and absurd," said Craig Kadish, an attorney for Dickerson, who is one of 18 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes. "We actually knew they were false - and had proof they were."
Dickerson, 43, of Sparks, was accused of assaulting his 19-year-old Latvian wife in their apartment July 17. Dickerson was arrested five days later and charged with second-degree rape, a fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault.
But county prosecutor Stephen Roscher said that inconsistencies in the woman's statements, as well as evidence that corroborated Dickerson's version of what happened, persuaded him to drop the charges. He said he did not think police were wrong to charge Dickerson, given the information available to investigators at the time.
"We did extensive further investigation," Roscher said. "I made my decision based on information that wasn't available to the [District Court] commissioner and police."
Kadish, the defense lawyer, said in an interview after yesterday's brief hearing in Towson that he invited police, without a warrant, into the Dickersons' apartment and provided detectives and prosecutors with copies of grocery and takeout receipts, cell phone logs, e-mails, medical records and receipts from money transfers to refute Dickerson's wife's allegations.
She had told police that Dickerson locked her in their apartment without food, physically abused her during her recent pregnancy, prevented her from communicating with her mother in Latvia and left her and their newborn daughter in her homeland without any money, according to court documents.
Dickerson said he met his wife in Latvia while asking for directions on the street. When he found out after some time that she was 16 years old - "younger than I thought," he explained - he handed her a business card and told her to e-mail him when she turned 18.
In January 2005, she did, Dickerson said yesterday, and they were married five months later. They moved to the United States in November when Dickerson's wife was three months pregnant. Their daughter was born in May in Latvia and remains there with her grandmother.
The woman had been admitted to the psychiatric ward at St. Joseph Medical Center in July, court records show.
Dickerson's wife was charged Monday with trespassing after she arrived about 10 p.m. at her husband's parents' house near Richmond and began "creating a scene there," said Lt. Doug Perry of the Henrico County police department. After refusing at least four requests to leave, Dickerson's wife was arrested, Perry said.
She is scheduled to go to trial next month.