Two veteran Baltimore police officers are facing criminal indictments stemming from separate and unrelated allegations, city officials said Thursday.
One officer is accused of sexual harassment and the other allegedly got drunk and belligerent at a Baltimore bar, assaulted two women and pulled a gun while refusing to pay his tab. State’s Attorney Ivan Bates, who took office as Baltimore’s top prosecutor in January, announced the indictments during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
After winning a Democratic primary last year, Bates replaced Marilyn Mosby, who frequently touted her reputation as a progressive prosecutor and gained national recognition after bringing criminal charges against the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s 2015 death in Baltimore police custody. She lost reelection after being indicted on federal perjury charges.
While promising to roll back some of Mosby’s more progressive policies, Bates has simultaneously pledged to support ongoing police reform efforts. However, he recently declined to prosecute an officer who fatally shot a fleeing teenage driver last year. The decision, which has drawn criticism from activists, was at odds with an investigative report from state prosecutors who also reviewed the case.
In announcing the indictments Thursday, Bates pledged to further transparency and accountability for law enforcement officers.
“The allegations in these cases are unacceptable for anyone in our city, but especially for our law enforcement officers,” Bates said in a statement Thursday. “Such actions further erode public trust in the badge and do an incredible disservice to the majority of men and women at the Baltimore Police Department who protect and serve our city with integrity.”
Larry Worsley has been held without bail since his arrest last week in the off-duty bar incident, court records show. He faces assault, theft and firearm charges.
According to the indictment against him, Worsley went out to a Baltimore bar called Tequila Sunset earlier this month, ordered three drinks, became noticeably drunk and started assaulting a woman who was with him. After being told to leave the premises, Worsley tried to exit without paying his $42 tab, then grabbed another woman and pulled a gun on a bar employee, the indictment alleges.
Prosecutors say Worsley dragged the woman outside, but she was able to drive away without him by jumping in a car and locking the doors. Worsley left on foot and police found him several blocks away from the bar.
An attorney for Worsley is not yet listed in online court records.
Worsley joined the Baltimore Police Department in 2003 and made an annual salary of about $103,000 in the 2021 fiscal year, the latest for which city payroll records are available.
The other indicted officer is Walter Wilson, who faces one count of misconduct in office after body-camera footage showed him groping his female colleague while responding to a call about a person found dead in October 2021, according to prosecutors.
Wilson and the other officer were standing on a porch near the scene discussing the death when Wilson placed his hand on the woman’s shoulder and turned her around so her back was facing him, the indictment says. He then ran his hand down her back and over her buttocks multiple times, according to the indictment. His body-camera recorded the interaction.
The female officer, who had no relationship with Wilson other than working on the same squad, didn’t consent to being touched, felt violated and considered it harassment, the indictment says.
Two days later, Wilson made an inappropriate comment to another officer about the woman’s body, according to prosecutors. After taking a week of sick leave, the woman reported Wilson to internal investigators and asked to be reassigned to a different police district.
Wilson joined the department in 2000 and his annual 2021 salary was about $91,000. His case isn’t listed in online court records and it wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Bates said he presented both cases to a grand jury, which returned the indictments.
Lea Skene reports for The Associated Press.