Four Arrested in Rape Investigation


Four Morgan State University students and alumni have been identified as the alleged rapists of an unidentified woman on June 30. Police arrested Renard James, 30, Dante Green, 24, Dale Lawton, 23, and Howard Cook Smith, 21, on July 19.

They are charged with eight counts of sex offense, assault, perverted practice and conspiracy charges and are being held without bail until their hearing on Aug. 10.

While at Smith’s apartment at 6502 McClean Blvd., the police report says, the four men forced the woman’s pants off. Investigators believe alcohol may have been involved and told WBAL the woman knew at least one of the men.

“The co-defendants held her down, performed cunnilingus, digitally penetrated her vagina, licked, sucked and bit her breasts, face and vaginal areas,” the report says. The victim was taken to Mercy Hospital where she received an examination and was interviewed by detectives.

James is listed on the Morgan State University band's Web site as the percussion coordinator. He is also a former band drum major. According to the Baltimore Sun, Lawton and Cook told court officials they are students at Morgan State University.

On Lawton’s Facebook page he describes himself as “pretty much a tall, loud, crazy, musical, band geek. I like music, video games, and just plain ole funny stuff.” He lists band as one of his activities and Kappa Kappa Psi – a national band fraternity? as one of his interests. The page also says Lawton is a graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

The university released a statement saying it does not tolerate the acts the men were charged with and if the allegations are true, they will be among the loudest to demand justice for the victim.

“The University is saddened to learn of the assault that apparently took place recently, allegedly by two former and two current band members,” said Clinton Coleman, the school spokesman. “We are all diminished whenever charges such as these are leveled against any of our students but it is especially troubling when these allegations describe behavior that falls so significantly short of our expectations.”

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