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Sheriff to face second charge

May 05, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Washington County Sheriff Charles Mades will face a second misdemeanor charge in a Washington County District Court trial next week.

The new charge of fourth-degree sex offense, prepared by the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office, was received in Washington County District Court on April 15, court records say.

That charge and a charge of second-degree assault, also a misdemeanor, stem from an alleged May 1, 2003, incident at the Chewsville Community Center.

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Records say Montgomery County Assistant State's Attorney Constantine P. Lizas is the attorney prosecuting the case, which is scheduled for May 12 at 1 p.m.

The prosecution role was transferred to the Montgomery County State's Attorney's office after Washington County State's Attorney M. Kenneth Long Jr. requested that another jurisdiction handle the matter "to avoid any appearance of impropriety or lack of objectivity," according to a court document signed by Long.

John McLane, spokesman for the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office, said Lizas, upon reviewing the complaint, requested that a Washington County District Court commissioner issue a fourth-degree sex offense charge against Mades in connection with the incident.

"My understanding is it was based on information provided to the prosecutor by witnesses," McLane said.

McLane said he did not know how many witnesses provided information to Lizas and whether that included Mades' accuser, Smithsburg-area resident Sigrid K. Knode.

Mades was charged in February with the second-degree assault count more than two weeks after Knode filed a private criminal complaint against him with a Washington County District Court commissioner.

Knode, of Twin Springs Drive, alleged in the Feb. 2 complaint that Mades touched her inappropriately multiple times while she was in the kitchen of the Chewsville Community Center on May 1, 2003.

Mades and J. Paul Krawczyk Jr., a Towson-based attorney representing Knode, have said the woman was an employee at the Washington County Detention Center at the time of the incident.

Knode's employment there ended in July 2003, they said.

Mades said in February that Knode's statements were "absolutely false" and that he "welcomes the opportunity" to defend his name and vindicate himself in court. Mades and two attorneys with whom he consulted on the matter have declined further comment on the case.

Mades' current attorney, John R. Salvatore, could not be reached for comment on the new charge late Monday or late Tuesday afternoon.

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