A Silver Spring man who was charged with rape and another sex offense and then released when his bond was lowered is being sought on a charge of committing a second rape after his release, Montgomery County police said yesterday.
According to county prosecutors, the man, James Ronald Wardrick, was released from jail June 17 after county Circuit Judge Philip M. Fairbanks lowered his bond from $125,000 for the two charges to $35,000.
County police said yesterday they have a warrant for the arrest of Wardrick, 31, in connection with an Aug. 9 rape of a woman in the Twinbrook section of Rockville. As of yesterday afternoon police had not located Wardrick, a self-employed carpet cleaner.
County prosecutors said that proper procedures were followed in allowing Wardrick to leave jail on bond but the release has angered the family of the first rape victim.
The father of the 18-year-old woman who allegedly was raped said he contacted the original investigating officer when he learned the accused man had been freed on bond. "It blew my socks off when I found out there was suspicion that he may have raped another woman," the father said.
He said his daughter has left home for her own safety. "It's been a traumatic thing," he said. "She was frightened when she found out that he was out on the street . . . . It's been painful for all the family."
Wardrick was first arrested March 27 and bond was set at $100,000 for the rape charge, and $25,000 on the first degree sex offense charge. Unable to make the bond, he remained in the county jail until a bond reduction hearing.
Prosecutors alleged that Wardrick had attempted to rape one woman in the parking lot of Rockville United Church, but was interrupted by a man who came to the woman's aid. Prosecutors alleged that Wardrick, who knew the man, then went to the Rockville house where the man's girlfriend lived and raped her.
After hearing arguments on bond reduction on June 3, Fairbanks reduced the two bonds to $25,000 and $10,000, respectively, to be paid in cash, which Wardrick did.
"We vigorously opposed any reduction in bond," said Assistant State's Attorney Roger Galvin. "I felt he was a danger to the community. I thought the $100,000 bond was appropriate. Obviously, Judge Fairbanks disagreed. To be fair, I doubt Judge Fairbanks thought he would come up with the premium."
Defense Attorney Stephen A. Starkey said at the bond hearing that the charges were "completely foreign as far as his personality is concerned. There's never been any indication of any previous violent actions . . . . I submit, based on his past experiences, that he does not constitute a danger to society."
Wardrick's only previous conviction was on a break-and-entry charge in Prince George's County in 1977, for which he served three years in prison.
Defense attorneys familiar with the bond process said a $25,000 cash bond was normal for a rape case in which the defendant had no record of violent crimes.