Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A search is underway for four men wanted in connection with the gang rape of a 14-year-old girl. Police catch one suspect because he was wearing an ankle bracelet monitored by the state. But now there are questions about whether or not he should have been in custody.
Mike Hellgren investigates.
Twenty-two-year-old Lucky Crosby Jr.–a parolee charged with raping a girl after pulling her into a van in Northwest Baltimore– was considered one of Maryland’s most violent released offenders. He was on a state watch list that put him under extra scrutiny, including GPS monitoring at the time of the brutal crime.
“There is a lot of outrage in terms of trying to contain people who are violent,” said Pauline Mandel, Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center director of legal services.
Records show Crosby was freed Sept. 7 after serving most of his five-year sentence on armed robbery and handgun charges.
“Eventually, you’re going to do your time, and with good time credits, you will be released on mandatory release. That’s what happened in this case,” said Russell Butler, executive director of Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center.
Until this, the state says Crosby had no violations, had a job, passed his drug tests and checked in where he was supposed to be. They say the system worked as it should.
The Department of Public Safety tells WJZ that’s because a review of GPS records helped police make the arrest, putting Crosby at the scene. Without it, that arrest may not have happened. But such monitoring is passive, meaning it’s not done in real time.
“For parole and probation, GPS is a supervision tool. It’s not a crime fighting tool. The mission of DPP is to supervise offenders. We’re not crime fighters,” said Rick Binetti, Department of Public Safety. “The alleged perpetrator of the crime was completely compliant with the supervision as set by the state.”
“One would think that if he was that high of a risk, perhaps they could have considered some sort of home detention, but that’s sort of after the fact,” Butler said.
Maryland inmates typically served a little more than half of their sentences before being released. Crosby was supposed to be in supervision until 2013.
Crosby faces 21 charges in connection with the attack on the 14-year-old girl.