- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2001

Anne Arundel County, Md., prosecutors said yesterday former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry's trial on assault and indecent-exposure charges will go forward, despite requests by a local civil rights official to have the charges dropped.
Gerald G. Stansbury, president of the Anne Arundel County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, made the request in a letter dated April 2, State's Attorney's Office spokeswoman Kristin Riggin said.
The civil rights leader said in the letter that it was unlikely charges would have been filed against Mr. Barry if he had not been a public figure.
Ms. Riggin disputed those arguments.
"Mr. Barry's position as former mayor of Washington, D.C., doesn't play a role in this," she said. "We are treating this as any other case."
Mr. Stansbury and State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee met to discuss Mr. Stansbury's concerns after the letter was received, Ms. Riggin said, but she could not comment on the outcome of that meeting.
She did, however, rebut claims made by Mr. Stansbury that the charges against Mr. Barry were politically motivated.
"Mr. Weathersbee is a career prosecutor with a record that stands for itself. Mr. Weathersbee doesn't need to prosecute Marion Barry to make a name for himself," she said.
Mr. Weathersbee is a Democrat, as is Mr. Barry.
Mr. Barry's attorney, Frederick D. Cooke Jr., said he had no knowledge of the letter.
Repeated attempts to reach Mr. Stansbury yesterday were unsuccessful.
Earlier this year, Mr. Stansbury publicly criticized Anne Arundel County prosecutors for failing to pursue a case against a man accused of defacing the statue of the late Aris T. Allen, a black doctor and elected official in Anne Arundel County.
Mr. Weathersbee said charges were dropped in that case after two prosecution witnesses who lived outside Maryland did not show up for the trial.
Mr. Barry, whose trial is set to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, faces misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault and indecent exposure in connection with an incident that occurred last July at Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Linthicum.
Custodian Terry Jenkins has accused Mr. Barry of assaulting her and exposing himself shortly after midnight July 6 when he entered an airport bathroom she was cleaning.
Mr. Barry said Mrs. Jenkins refused his request to leave the bathroom when he urgently needed to use it and pushed him when he entered. He said he has needed to make frequent trips to the restroom since undergoing prostate cancer surgery in 1995.
Mr. Barry served three consecutive terms as mayor of the District, beginning in 1978, but left office in 1991 after being videotaped smoking crack cocaine in a downtown hotel.
After serving a six-month prison term, he staged a comeback, first winning a D.C. Council seat and then reclaiming the mayor's office for a fourth term in 1994. He did not seek re-election in 1998.
Mr. Barry's case was to be heard in District Court last month, but Mr. Barry requested a jury trial.


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