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Gang-Rape Victim Identifies Defendant as One of Attackers

The slender victim, now 17, positively identified yesterday a photograph of Michael Andrease Lynch as one of six teen-agers in a Silver Spring apartment where she was raped two years ago.

The identification came slowly because the youth in the photo had an Afro and the victim said his hair was in corn rows in the early morning hours of March 21, 1998.

Talking in a low voice, the girl, called “Amy” in court to protect her identity, did not look at Mr. Lynch sitting across the Rockville courtroom.

“He was there,” Amy testified. “I’m positive he was there.”

Amy is to return to the witness stand in Montgomery County Circuit Court this morning to describe the 3 1/2-hour assault, which Assistant State’s Attorney Debra Dwyer called “sheer evil.”

Mr. Lynch, now 21, is the oldest of the defendants and the last to go to trial. Four others were convicted as adults and are serving life sentences; the fifth pleaded “responsible” and was sentenced to juvenile detention.

Most of the past two days involved the testimony of Antoine “Worm” Deon Haskins, then 16, one of the four serving a life sentence who was brought from the state prison in Jessup, Md.

“Michael Lynch absolutely had sex with that girl?” asked defense attorney Barry Helfand, who would subsequently emphasize the difference in details Haskins gave in three statements to police.

“Yes,” replied Haskins.

“How many?” asked Mr. Helfand.

“Just once,” said Haskins, who repeated that Mr. Lynch left the apartment soon after the assault began.

Previously, Haskins testified that Mr. Lynch was one of four teen-agers smoking cigars of marijuana and drinking alcohol in the Peppertree Farm apartment before the girl arrived about midnight in the company of the ringleader, Harry Lee Williams, then 17, and Muhain “Ghost” Udien Adam, then 18.

About 15 minutes later, Amy went to the bathroom, where she was soon surrounded by at least four of the youths, and Williams slugged her, knocked her to the floor, and carried her into one of the three bedrooms, Haskins said.

“While [Williams] was having sex” with the girl, Haskins testified, Mr. Lynch said he was going to “roll,” meaning “he was going to leave.”

But Williams “mumbled” something to Mr. Lynch, who went over to Amy, dropped his pants to his ankles, got on top of her, had sex, got up, pulled up his pants and left, never to return, Haskins testified.

Detective Scott Loomis testified that Haskins’ statements were consistent and identified Mr. Lynch as one of the rapists, and that he had hit Amy at least once and grabbed her around the neck.

Mr. Helfand has emphasized that the only lights in the apartment were in the hallway and two bathrooms, and they were turned off at some point. But Haskins and Amy testified it was light enough to identify faces.

Contending that the five convicted defendants conspired to include Mr. Lynch in the crimes, Mr.Helfand introduced a letter Haskins wrote to Mr. Lynch a year after the assault.

It reads: “Harry said that you was a snitch. Then we met up and we said that if something (unreadable) was go wrong everyone was 2 say that you (obscenity) to. I didn’t think that she was going to say you was (obscenity) to. That bitch didn’t know you went home.”

Mr. Helfand did not cross-examine Detective John Lyon, who took a statement from Mr. Lynch three days after the assault. In the statement, Mr. Lynch said he went home soon after Amy went to the bathroom but then describes close sexual contact with the girl.

“I heard her scream. I think [Williams] hit her,” the statement says. “That girl was being raped.”

Client Reviews
"I have watched Mr. Helfand in trial and in negotiations. He is remarkable. Mr. Helfand is extremely knowledgeable in the law, and even more knowledgeable in the ways to deal with people." Afshin Pishevar, Criminal Defense Attorney in Rockville, MD
"I strongly endorse this lawyer. I have known Mr. Helfand for many years. We have worked together on cases and represented conflicting parties. I have watched Mr. Helfand in trial and in negotiations. He is remarkable." David Felsen, Criminal Defense Attorney in Rockville, MD
"It’s one of the biggest cases that’s been tried in Montgomery County in a long time,” said Steve VanGrack, a Rockville lawyer considering a Democratic bid for state’s attorney." Washington Post