NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


Nivember 30, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

FIRED BARC EMPLOYEE SENTENCED FOR EXTORTION OF MENTALLY RETARDED

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Kenneth M. Boykins, 36, of Baltimore, was convicted and sentenced in Baltimore County Circuit Court, after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor extortion. Over a four-month period, Boykins extorted money, snack food, and personal chores from three mentally retarded adults working under his supervision.

In a statement of facts, the court learned that for four months last year, while the defendant was employed by the Baltimore Association for Retarded Citizens as a landscape crew supervisor at a job site in Baltimore County, the defendant took about $510 in cash and routinely obtained snack food from three mentally retarded landscape crew members by threatening that he could cause them to lose their jobs at BARC if they did not comply. He also took the BARC landscape crew to his home to cut the grass. The BARC consumers were afraid to tell for fear of Boykins’ purported power over their jobs.

In November 2000, the three BARC employees approached BARC managers after the defendant left BARC. Officials took immediate action to notify police and State investigative agencies, including the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality, of the employees’ complaints. The case was prosecuted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.

The Honorable John Grason Turnbull, II sentenced Kenneth Boykins to a one-year period of incarceration with credit for the 16 days already served by the defendant, and the balance of the sentence suspended. Judge Turnbull also placed Boykins on supervised probation for three years, with terms of probation including 60 hours of community service, no conduct with the victims and staff at the Baltimore Association for Retarded Citizens, and the order to Boykins to make restitution in the amount of $510.

"Kenneth Boykins’ actions against these vulnerable adults are deplorable," Attorney General Curran said. "He employed the tactics of a schoolyard bully by extorting money and food from individuals not capable of defending themselves."

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