A former University of Maryland student who said she was assaulted in 1984 by former Suffolk Sheriff’s lieutenant Edward Walsh said Wednesday she hoped “he will finally be held accountable for his ongoing bad behavior.”
Walsh, chairman of the Suffolk County Conservative Party, is on trial in U.S. District Court in Central Islip on charges of theft of government funds and wire fraud for collecting more than $200,000 in pay and overtime for working at the Suffolk County jail while he was actually golfing, gambling, doing political party work and being around his East Islip neighborhood.
During a video conference call at the nonprofit group Crime Victims Center in Ronkonkoma, on the day before summations in the trial were scheduled to begin, Mary Salins repeated her past account that Walsh sexually assaulted her while both were students at the university in 1984.
Newsday has reported that a police report from December 1984 says that as Salins walked in front of a dorm at the university, Walsh knocked her boyfriend down and then groped her between her legs.
Court records show that Walsh was charged with a misdemeanor fourth-degree sex offense and that the disposition of the case was 12 months probation before judgment, Newsday has reported.
Years later, after Walsh applied to join the Suffolk County sheriff’s office, a Maryland judge granted his request to have the records expunged.
“A judge may have expunged his record, but no one can expunge the memory of what I had to deal with and what he took from me that night,” said Salins, 49, who lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and owns a business there, said via Skype.
Walsh’s defense attorney, William Wexler, of North Babylon, said Walsh denies the assault charges. Wexler said that with closing arguments in the federal trial scheduled for Thursday, the timing of Salins’ news conference “is very curious.”
U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt turned down prosecutors’ request to introduce evidence of “bad character” on Walsh’s part during his current trial, including the arrest in the Maryland case.
Salins, a married mother of four, said she has followed the trial closely through the news media. Asked why she was speaking out now, she said, “I guess I want the opportunity to say I am here. I am real. This is me who it happened to. My story is credible.”
“He has had many times been given the opportunity to change his bad behavior,” Salins said of Walsh. “He’s chosen to try and beat the system.”
said she still is affected by the assault and vulgar comments she said Walsh and his friends made to her outside the courtroom back in 1984.
“You’re always looking over your shoulder to see who’s coming up behind you,” she said. “Was I violated, was I humiliated, was I disgraced, was I embarrassed? Yes, I was all of those.”