Eugene Waller is a twice-convicted Maryland rapist who after spending nearly 30 years in prison has been charged repeatedly with crimes from indecent exposure to failing to register as a violent sex offender. The Baltimore Sun says that in the months preceding this week’s rape at a light rail stop, no one was keeping an eye on him. Though he stood in an Anne Arundel County courthouse last week, there was no warrant out for his arrest for failing to inform police of his location. Waller, 49, was not listed on the Maryland sex offender registry’s public Web site.
Victim advocates and lawmakers expressed outrage at the lack of scrutiny preceding Tuesday’s arrest of Waller, who is accused of dragging a woman, 22, into the woods and raping her at gunpoint – days after he was acquitted on charges that he exposed himself on the light rail line. “When you have a breakdown in the system like this, it just further underscores the notion to victims that the criminal justice system doesn’t work for you,” said Jennifer Pollitt Hill of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “Sexual assault is drastically underreported in the criminal justice system because of things like this. Victims know the system still may not protect them in the end, so they opt not to participate.” Said a Maryland House Judiciary Committee member: “We can pass all the laws we want to in Annapolis, but if those laws aren’t carried out for whatever bureaucratic reason, they won’t be able to protect the public. It sounds like this guy was a ticking time bomb. Really, there is no safe place for people like this but in prison.” It remained unclear yesterday who should have been checking on Waller.