Judge rules false-arrest lawsuit brought by Charles Village rape suspect may go forward
Marlow Humbert, the man who spent 14 months in a Baltimore jail before rape charges against him were dropped in July 2009, during which time he was dubbed the “Charles Village Rapist,” has prevailed in the Baltimore City Police Department’s attempt to swat down his $10 million false-arrest and malicious-prosecution lawsuit in federal court.
Yesterday, U.S. District Court judge William Quarles ruled Humbert’s claims against three officers – detectives Caprice Smith and Dominick Griffin and sergeant Chris Jones – may go to a jury. Humbert’ allegations that Griffin and Jones recklessly omitted details that would have undermined the probable cause for his arrest can go forward, as can his claim on the “reasonableness” of the officers’ “beliefs that probable cause existed,” Quarles ruled.
Smith is now a business coach, motivational speaker, and author of Uncuffed: Behind My Smile (pictured), among other books. Her website says she “uses her experience in the interrogation room” where “she has spent several years face to face with sexual predators and abusers” to help clients learn about “their power, their purpose, and latent things that hold them from greatness.”
Humbert’s lawsuit, brought by Baltimore attorney Barry Glazer and his co-counsel, contends that, even though DNA tests excluded Humbert as a suspect within a month of his arrest, the charges still were not dropped for more than another year. Evidence developed in the case so far, and summarized in Quarles’ opinion allowing the suit to continue, suggests that the victim harbors doubts about the efficacy of the police investigation and that the officers appear to have misconstrued her identification of the attacker as “positive,” even though she was far from certain that Humbert did the crime.
To read Quarles’ ruling, click here.