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Federal grand jury indicts W.Va. pair

January 07, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Federal indictments have been filed against two men already facing state charges in connection with an alleged rape and armed robbery last June at a Martinsburg motel.

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Eugene L. Jackson and Elijah M. Green, both 20 years old and of Martinsburg, are named in a six-count indictment that charges the pair violated federal laws in a June 9, 1998, incident at the Krista-Lite Motel on W.Va. 45, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Wheeling, W.Va.

Both men were indicted on charges they took a stolen 1988 Ford Expedition across state lines and used firearms in the commission of a robbery. Jackson was charged with possession of a stolen 9 mm automatic pistol.

Jackson and Green also face state charges in the incident, and Jackson is a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed last month by the former Krista-Lite night clerk who told police she was raped during the robbery.

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According to police records, two men armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and a pistol held up the motel shortly before 10:30 p.m. on June 9 and stole $324.76 from the register. Police said one of the men assaulted a clerk in the linen storage area while the other gunman stood lookout.

A guest in the motel called police during the incident. Police arrested Green and Jackson a short time later.

A 25-year-old Bunker Hill, W.Va., woman has filed a lawsuit in Berkeley County Circuit Court alleging Jackson raped her and claiming the motel did not provide adequate security against an attack. The clerk had been working at the motel less than a week at the time of the incident, according to court records.

The lawsuit also alleges the motel owes the woman worker's compensation and seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

Bradley H. Thompson, the Wheeling, W.Va., attorney representing the woman, said the state and federal charges will not affect the civil suit.

Thompson said the woman still suffers emotional trauma from the incident and now works somewhere outside Martinsburg. He said Jackson was named in the civil suit to make it easier to show a jury what happened on the night of the alleged attack.

"We won't get anything from him financially," said Thompson. "But this allows us to bring everyone into the case."

The daughter of Krista-Lite Motel owner Helen V. Orr said the family had no comment on the civil lawsuit.

Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Games-Neely said the state will pursue a first-degree sexual assault charge against Jackson but likely will let federal authorities handle Green's case.

The penalties for convictions on the federal counts include jail terms of up to 20 years on a single count and up to $250,000 in fines.

Green and Jackson are being held in the Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg.

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