A Montgomery County police board has called for the dismissal of Officer Joseph Baltimore on the grounds that he had sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl last February and on grounds of "using his police authority" to solicit dates from two other 15-year-olds.
Baltimore, 32, a six-year police veteran assigned to the Bethesda station, was cited for neglecting his duties, conduct unbecoming a police officer, and violating regulations concerning the operation of a police vehicle.
Baltimore was acquitted of rape in connection with the incident after a six-day trial in circuit court in July. The police hearing board, which tried him on administrative charges relating to violation of a police officer's general orders, completed its findings Wednesday.
The board recommended that Baltimore receive $7,000 in back pay. It said the money was due him for the six months he was suspended without pay after the rape charge was brought against him.
The three-member trial board stated in its memorandum to Police Chief Robert diGrazia that it "takes the stand that (the girl) was in fact telling the truth about what happened and Officer Baltimore is responsible for the alleged deviant behavior."
The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 13 as the girl was showing Baltimore the "party room" - an area in the sub-basement of Brookmont Elementary School where youngsters reportedly go to drink and smoke marijuana. The girl was "slightly intoxicated," according to testimony during Baltimore's trial on the criminal charges.
The police trial board said, there was physical evidence that Baltimore, had had sexual relations with the girl. This included the results of an examination of some of the girl's clothing and some of Baltimore's.
Baltimore also was cited by the board for trying to arrange a date with two 15-year-old girls in return for not arresting them for traffic violations.
The memorandum said Baltimore told one of the girls "she had nice legs and indicated that he would like to take her to his ranch, give her drinks and go to bed with her."
Baltimore violated police regulations, the board found, because he did not notify the parents of the teen-age girls he took into his police cruiser that the girls were in his custody.
In addition, the officer was cited for leaving the police cruiser unattended without telling dispatchers during the time he spent in the sub-basement of Brookmont Elementary School.
A charge that Baltimore violated uniform regulations by not wearing his police hat at the elementary school was dismissed.
diGrazia now has 30 days to decide whether or not to accept the board's recomendations that Baltimore be dismissed. Baltimore could appeal diGrazia's ruling to the circuit court.