ANNAPOLIS – The Maryland Court of Special Appeals Friday upheld the conviction of a Baltimore County stable worker who raped, sexually assaulted and beat his former employer.
Keith Avery Brooks claimed he and his victim were lovers who were simply engaging in rough, but consensual, sex that left her with two broken ribs and bruises all over her body.
Brooks, 37, and his 57-year-old victim were involved in a yearlong affair, during which she visited him about once a week in the tack room off the stables where he lived.
On April 13, 1996, they were in his room drinking and listening to music, according to court documents. He left briefly and returned to find her on the bed with her sweater and jeans off.
Brooks claims she asked if he wanted to engage in bondage. She said he attacked her.
She told police he tied her up with rubber handcuffs and baling twine, put a plastic bag over her head, beat and threatened to kill her as he raped and sodomized her.
A jury acquitted Brooks of attempted second-degree murder but convicted him on the other charges and sentenced him to two concurrent life terms and a consecutive 10-year term for battery.
Brooks raised four issues on appeal, each of which was flatly dismissed by the a three-judge panel of the court.
He claimed the victim lied on the stand when, in response to a question from Brooks’ attorney, she denied having the word “Keith” tattooed on her “rear end.” She had the tattoo on her hip, a fact that she did not mention under repeated questioning.
“The victim did not commit perjury because, as far as is shown by the record, she did not lie about the tattoo,” the court wrote in its decision. “The victim was under no obligation to help appellant’s counsel fine-tune his question.”
The court rejected Brooks’ claim that the judge should not have let prosecutors ask him why he remained silent when he was arrested. The appeals court said Brooks’ claim that he was “dumbfounded” neither helped nor hurt his case.
It also rejected Brooks’ contention that the doctor who treated the victim should not have been allowed to testify as an expert on sexual assault. The appeals court noted that the woman had worked for 11 years as an emergency room physician and was qualified.
Finally, the defense said Baltimore County Circuit Judge John Grayson Turnbull II wrongly based the sentence on the attempted murder charge of which Brooks was acquitted. They pointed to his statement during sentencing that it “is a wonder that the victim … was not killed on this particular evening.”
The appeals court disagreed, saying that statement spoke to the crimes for which Brooks was convicted.
Assistant Public Defender Geraldine Sweeney said her office will decide Wednesday whether to appeal the case.