Charges were dropped yesterday against a Metro Transit Police officer accused of raping a woman in Silver Spring.

Darren M. Way, 31, of Gaithersburg had been charged with raping at gunpoint a 33-year-old woman who advertised as an escort.

John McLane, spokesman for the Montgomery County state's attorney's office, said the charges were dropped in court.

"Information came to the attention of Montgomery County police and the state's attorney's office that the charges as filed could not be sustained," he said. "While we cannot comment on the evidence, it is our understanding that the Montgomery County police are continuing their investigation."

He declined to say specifically why the charges were dropped.

Way's attorney, Jim Shalleck, said: "Today's news was stunning, and we're happy. But we're guarded because of what the state's attorney said yesterday in court."

According to Shalleck, the assistant state's attorney said that the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia is investigating similar allegations against Way.

Channing Phillips, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, confirmed that his office is investigating Way in a D.C. incident.

Shalleck said he was not told why charges were dropped against Way. He said he hopes that Way will eventually be reinstated as a police officer, a job he held for 21/2 years.