Keeping Secrets

Two women say a Fells Point barkeep raped them for years. The judge sent him back to his bar.

By Edward Ericson Jr. (Baltimore City Paper, 3/14/2012)

Sexton’s JHJ Saloon, aka JH’s (photo by Frank Klein)

Shortly after dark on Dec. 9, 2011, a man slumps against the brick wall just outside the door at JHJ Saloon on the corner of South Castle Street and Eastern Avenue on the eastern edge of Fells Point. Sporting a scraggly brown beard and a marble-sized growth above his left eye, he looks up at a visitor pulling the door handle. “You’re walking into the mausoleum,” he says.

Inside, it’s Christmastime. A brace of older white folks take up the barstools while two or three people dance near the bar in the back of the room to Brenda Lee’s twangy hit “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.” One dancing blond woman smiles and sings along. She is the owners’ daughter.

Behind the bar, an elderly blond woman informs the visitor that there are no taps and no bottled beer in this establishment. There are only cans of Bud, Bud Light.

Judge Judy is on the TV in front, the volume loud enough so you can hear her stern moralizing above the Brenda Lee tune blaring in the back. People need to take responsibility for their actions, the TV judge states.

Finishing his Bud, the visitor asks where he can find the bar’s owner, who goes by Lester. “Who wants to know?” the barkeep snaps.

City Paper wants to know.

“Well, I’m his wife.”

Whispering as discreetly as possible, the visitor tells the barkeep he wants to discuss Lester’s court cases. “Who told you?” she demands, loud enough to be heard over Judge Judy and Brenda Lee. “Man or woman?”

The woman insists that Lester is not here, fixing a cold stare on the intruding reporter as he leaves.

Outside, the man with the growth near his eye is at the bus stop across the street. “He’s upstairs,” he says of Lester.

According to records in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, two women say that Lester raped them for years, beginning when both were children. Douglas Lester Sexton was “committed” to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on July 19, 2011. On Nov. 11, 2011, he was found incompetent to stand trial for 22 separate charges of second-degree assault and child abuse by a custodian.

Continue reading “Keeping Secrets” at Baltimore City Paper.

This entry was posted in Baltimorons, Beer, Booze, Fells Point, Sex Crimes, Vices and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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