- The Washington Times - Friday, March 30, 2001

GLEN BURNIE, Md. Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry yesterday postponed a court appearance on charges of assaulting a cleaning woman and indecently exposing himself to her last summer in a bathroom at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

The ex-mayor, identified in charging documents as Marions Barry Jr., was scheduled to stand trial yesterday before Judge Essom Ricks in Anne Arundel County District Court.

During a proceeding of less than a minute, his attorney, Jason Sean Garber, requested a jury trial, which automatically transferred the case to Circuit Court in Annapolis.

State's Attorney spokeswoman Kristin Riggin said jury selection could begin Monday.

Mr. Barry, who faces misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault and indecent exposure, said he was insulted by the case, explaining that he has to urinate frequently since his surgery in 1995 for prostate cancer.

"I'm not guilty of anything. I had a medical emergency, that's all," he said. "I had a choice either go or end up with my pants wet."

Calling the case political and judicial harassment, Mr. Barry said, "If I were not Marion Barry and someone was not trying to make a name for themselves, I wouldn't be here."

According to charging documents, the incident began about 10 minutes after midnight July 6, just after Mr. Barry returned from Chicago. Terry Jenkins, 30, of Baltimore, had just put up signs saying the airport-restroom floor was wet and the bathroom was closed while she cleaned it.

Mr. Barry yesterday said he politely asked the cleaning woman to leave because he urgently needed to use the restroom.

But Miss Jenkins said in her handwritten charging documents: "I said sir the restroom is close. He said he had to go. I said you can use the handicapped restroom or down the pier to the next restroom because the floor was wet."

"The man said don't you know who Im Bitch [sic]," her statement continues, and that he asked for her name as she put out her hand and repeated the "restroom is closed sir."

"He pused [sic] me on my left shoulder. I went over a few feet came back to him. Then he shoved me with both of his hands in my chest causing me to stumble back several feet," Miss Jenkins wrote.

A work crew had left a ladder in the restroom, which Ms. Jenkins said Mr. Barry was sliding back and forth "as if he was going to hit me with it. He then pushed the ladder at me. I quickly stoped [sic] the ladder from striking my body."

"He was again saying Don't you know who I am. I said know [sic] I don't. He then said Bitch if you don't get out of my way. I'm going to [urinate] all over you. And then he pulled down his zipper in front of me, pulled out his penins [sic] and urinated," according to the statement.

Mr. Barry gave his own account of the event the next day: "She pushed me… . I didn't touch that woman… . I got off the plane you know, I have a medical condition I had to go in a hurry. And I said to the lady, 'Pardon me, please, I have to go.' "

"She started screaming and tried pushing me and finally she left and I went to the urinal," Mr. Barry said, noting that the woman told a police officer he had shoved her, but did not initially report he had exposed himself.

Miss Jenkins complained to Maryland Transportation Authority Police Officer James Karpiak. After an investigation, police determined Mr. Barry's identity, decided not to file charges and released him.

Miss Jenkins then personally filed charges against Mr. Barry before the Anne Arundel County court commissioner on July 6.

Yesterday, Mr. Barry's other attorney, Frederick D. Cooke Jr., said Miss Jenkins also has filed a civil lawsuit, adding that he suspects the criminal case was being used to support the civil case.

The custodian is accusing Mr. Barry of assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and is seeking $300,000 in damages.

The nonjury criminal case originally was scheduled for trial on Nov. 17, but Mr. Barry's D.C. attorneys asked for a continuance because they had other court cases scheduled then.

Mr. Barry served three consecutive terms as the District's mayor beginning in 1978, but left office in disgrace 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.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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