Washington County Circuit Court briefs

January 26, 2004

Man enters guilty plea in Rail Trail assault

A man who has a prior sex offense pleaded guilty Thursday to assaulting a 19-year-old woman in August 2003 on the Western Maryland Rail Trail in Big Pool.

Otis Lee Johnson pleaded to a charge of second-degree assault.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III ordered a pre-sentence investigation by the county Division of Parole and Probation and a psychosexual evaluation by Catoctin Counseling Center.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said Johnson was given probation before judgment on an indecent exposure charge in 1992.

"I think we are dealing with a problem here," she said.

Wright said the maximum sentence Johnson could receive on a second-degree assault charge would be 10 years in state prison and/or a $2,500 fine. The state dropped a charge of fourth-degree sex offense, which Johnson's defense attorney, John Salvatore, said carries a lesser sentence.


Cirincion said that a 19-year-old woman called on Aug. 30 at about 5:30 p.m. to say she was assaulted on the Western Maryland Rail Trail.

The woman, who had been in-line skating, said she was walking along the trail when she noticed a man kicking objects as he walked a few yards ahead of her, seeming to slow down his pace. As she tried to put some distance between herself and the man, the woman saw him start to close in on her, Cirincion said. The woman noticed he had his hands down his pants, which were zipped down, but nothing was showing.

When the woman tried to get away, the man told the woman not to flee down one route because it was slippery, she said. The man then caught up to her and pulled down her shorts, but she broke free, Cirincion said.

Man pleads guilty to assaulting his brother

Harold Duane Kline, 38, pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree assault in a May 14 incident involving his brother.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright gave Kline until today to pay the remaining $50 in restitution he owed his brother for damage to a Smithsburg property.

Wright sentenced Kline to serve three years in state prison, but suspended the sentence and placed him on three years of supervised probation.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said Kline broke windows out of a garage and hit his brother's elbow and porch rungs with a lead pipe after finding that a truck was taken from where it was parked.

Man pleads guilty to pistol violation

Ted Evan Marks, 50, pleaded guilty Thursday to an assault pistol roster violation.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright delayed sentencing to allow time for a pre-sentence evaluation, saying he didn't have enough information on Marks.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said that on Dec. 12, 2002, the county Narcotics Task Force interviewed a man they were investigating in connection with drugs. The man said he bought his pistol and a 30-magazine clip from Marks for about $1,000.

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