BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Charges against a 50-year-old former Shock Trauma security guard accused of posing as a police officer and raping a woman were dropped Wednesday.
Richard Barnes had been charged with rape and impersonating a police officer in the case. The state’s attorney’s office presented the case to the grand jury, which decided not to indict and to dismiss all eight charges.
“I don’t believe the charges should have ever been brought,” Barnes’ attorney James Rhodes told WJZ Wednesday afternoon.
The city’s state’s attorney’s office disagrees, saying in a statement:
“The Baltimore Police Department appropriately pursued charges against Mr. Barnes based on the belief that there was sufficient evidence to do so; however, the grand jury reviewed that same evidence and chose not to indict the defendant, which required that we dismiss the case. We respect the grand jury’s decision as a part of the criminal justice process.”
#BREAKING: Charges have been dropped against a Shock Trauma security guard accused of impersonating a police officer and raping a woman in June. We have live reports at 4/5/6 from the District Courthouse. @wjz
— Rachel Menitoff (@RachelMenitoff) July 24, 2019
In charging documents, the woman said she was being sexually assaulted by a Lyft driver while on her way to a Charles Village pub on June 1 when Barnes showed up, identified himself as a police officer and ordered her into his car.
Charging documents said the woman and Barnes went to another location where he raped her, changed clothes and dropped her off back where he had picked her up.
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“This clearly was a case where a young lady made a decision that she later regretted and for whatever reason chose to make up a story about a rape and sexual allegation that happened with two different men,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes also said Barnes has since lost his job at the Shock Trauma.
“The stigma of a sexual allegation such as this one will probably carry for the rest of his life,” Rhodes said. “Whether he’s able to get other employment from this, I’m not sure.”
Rhodes said he will be discussing pursuing charges against the woman at the center of the allegations.
More than 100 Baltimore Police Department vehicles were temporarily taken out of service as the department investigated the reported rape; the department ultimately determined none of its officers were involved.
Barnes was found guilty of impersonating a police officer in 1996. A judge suspended his six-month jail sentence.
He is currently being held in protective custody at the Baltimore city jail but is expected to be released at some point Wednesday. His attorney said he was in protective custody due to threats made against him because of the nature of the charges.