City prosecutors dropped charges against a second former housing worker accused of withholding residential repairs for sex, ending the criminal side of the case without any convictions.
Prosecutors charged former handymen Charles T. Coleman, 48, and Doug Hussy, 62, in July after the city housing authority paid a settlement of up to $8 million in January 2016.
The case "started with a big bang, and went out with a whimper," Warren Brown, Coleman's defense attorney, said Tuesday afternoon after his case was dropped.
Hussy was acquitted earlier this month after prosecutors presented no evidence when the alleged victim did not appear in court.
Attorney Cary J. Hansel, who represented the women in the civil lawsuit, said he was "shocked" that neither criminal case had gone forward and said the two alleged victims in Coleman's case were in court prepared to testify.
"The State's Attorney's office should be ashamed," Hansel said. "This is the latest example of how many of our fellow Baltimoreans have been ignored and underserved by the system for far too long."
Coleman was charged with second-degree assault, fourth-degree sex offense, harassment and misconduct based on accusations from two other women, but prosecutors said they recently encountered problems with the evidence. They did not elaborate.
"There are a number of variables that recently raised insurmountable problems with the provability of these cases," state's attorney's office spokeswoman Melba Saunders said of the case against Coleman.
Coleman declined to comment as he left the courthouse, deferring to Brown, who said prosecutors told him they concluded there were problems with the alleged victims' time lines of their encounters.
"Something this sensational, something this significant, I'm surprised this is the reason put forth," Brown said.
Coleman had faced the bulk of the accusations in the civil lawsuit.
"I think a lot of this stemmed from the legitimate grievances of the tenants throughout public housing and the deplorable work record in terms of repairs and the like," Brown said.
Earlier this month, Hansel said the alleged victim in Hussy's case had car trouble and he questioned why prosecutors did not request a postponement. On Tuesday, Hansel said both alleged victims had come to court as instructed and did not know the case was going to be dropped.
"Both of the victims were present in the courthouse today, available to testify, and prepared to go forward," Hansel said. "As recently as a week ago, [prosecutors] told me it was going forward, and sought my assistance in contacting my clients. ... I have every reason to believe the case should have gone forward."
Saunders said prosecutors "transported these survivors to our office, sat down with them for more than 2 hours along with victim/witness advocates and thoroughly explained our rationale for not proceeding upon these cases. We will continue to support these survivors through their recovery process."
In the civil lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that Coleman made "numerous unwanted sexual advances towards countless women" who lived in public housing. They said he touched women inappropriately and touched himself in front of them.