EASTON — Tanner Barrow, who is accused of strangling and raping a woman in Tilghman in June, has been released from jail on a $60,000 unsecured bond.
Talbot District Judge Karen Ketterman, during a Wednesday, July 15, hearing, authorized Barrow’s release after prosecutors dismissed the first-degree rape charge against him in exchange for his waiving his right to a preliminary hearing.
Barrow’s case is now forwarded to the Talbot County Circuit Court, where he is expected to stand trial for six remaining charges, three of which are felony offenses. Barrow is charged with second-degree rape, third- and fourth-degree sex offense, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.
The accusations against Barrow stem from a June 16 incident involving Barrow allegedly climbing on top of, strangling and raping a sleeping woman inside a Tilghman home, according to court records.
The woman, who reportedly knew Barrow and had spent the evening with him at a friend’s house prior to the alleged rape, told police she awoke on a couch at about 3:30 a.m. to Barrow sexually and physically assaulting her.
The woman reportedly told police that the alleged rape lasted for approximately 10 minutes. Responding officers reported observing a “faint red mark” on the woman’s neck that were “consistent with what she had stated” about the incident.
Ketterman’s decision to release Barrow came after his attorney, Christine DuFour, requested Wednesday that the judge reconsider her June 18 order to hold Barrow without bond.
DuFour presented a letter in support of Barrow’s release, which she said had received the signatures of 63 community members who assured Barrow is “not a threat to the community.”
The attorney also argued, as she had in earlier proceedings, that the allegations against Barrow were a case of “he-said-she-said.” The “faint red mark” police reported observing on the woman’s neck after the alleged rape, DuFour said, had been characterized by witnesses as looking like a “hickey.”
But prosecutors argued Wednesday Barrow should remain in jail because he had indirectly made threats toward his alleged victim while he was speaking on a recorded phone line from the detention center.
A prosecutor said Barrow told someone on a recorded call, “I’m going to end up hurting that f-ing girl if I see her.” The prosecutor also said people associated with Barrow have contacted the woman and threatened that “something will happen” to her if she doesn’t drop the charges against Barrow.
“The threat couldn’t be more clear,” the prosecutor said.
In response to the prosecution’s argument, DuFour said Barrow was not “intending to threaten the girl” and he was “mouthing off.” She said, “unfortunately, he tends to do that.”
Ketterman said she was “glad” to hear about Barrow’s 63 supporters, but said his and his family’s allegedly threatening Barrow’s accuser “gives me pause and concerns me.” That should “absolutely not be happening,” she said.
Before ordering Barrow released on bond, Ketterman said she was giving him a “very narrow chance here.”
She said if she hears “anything about any kind of contact,” direct or indirect, with Barrow’s accuser, she will have “no problem” issuing a bench warrant for his arrest.
Ketterman said she’s “not going to put up with anything interfering with a criminal proceeding.”
“Yes, your Honor. I understand,” Barrow responded to Ketterman.
The conditions of Barrow’s release restrict him to his mother’s home in Trappe and his place of work on Poplar Island. The accused rapist will not be monitored by electronic GPS because the county ran out of the devices, Ketterman said.
Further proceedings have not yet been scheduled in the case, online court records show.