13 July 2010

Rape suspect released by mistake [update]

Ernest Clark, charged
with first-degree rape,
but released by
34 year old, Ernest Clark was serving a four year prison sentence earlier this year when evidence from a cold case investigation linked him to a first degree rape charge, and 10 other related assaults. Instead of holding him in custody once his prison term was up, Baltimore County Sheriff's dupties released him. Why - they lost his paperwork.

Col. Robert Haukdal of the Baltimore County Sheriff's Office owned it and said, "a mistake like this has never happened before".

Clark's arrest record includes rape charges in 1996 and 2000. He was finally convicted of child abuse of a minor in 2001. The case added him on Maryland's Sex Offence Registry. Clark was arrested again for rape in 2004, but prosecutors dropped the case.

Clark was arrested 8 times between 2006 and 2009, the same time police were told of a DNA link to the 2000 attack, but police chose not to arrest him.

Now with a new police administration and new detectives,  its clear they're not happy about the way the case was mishandled. But after rumors of Baltimore deeming more cases "unfound" than any other city in the country, and police possibly persuading some women to drop their complaints, how does this new administration show the public rape is important?

This goes without saying - if they don't except the responsibility, similar sex crimes will become excepted and rarely mentioned. Women running into guys like Clark will be the norm in society.

Ernest Clark