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Former Model Denies She ‘Coerced’ Barry Into Sting

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The former model who lured Washington Mayor Marion Barry into an FBI sting operation testified Friday that she repeatedly turned the conversation back to drugs until Barry finally lit a crack pipe--even though he had told her he did not want to “do” drugs that night.

Rasheeda Moore, the key prosecution witness in the government’s drug and perjury case against Barry, denied that she had “coerced” the mayor into smoking the cocaine pipe in a room at the Vista Hotel in downtown Washington last Jan. 18.

Under intense cross-examination by defense attorney R. Kenneth Mundy, however, Moore acknowledged that she had to keep Barry in the room for the sting to work and that she kept raising the subject of drugs even though Barry seemed more interested in having sex with her.

Barry, Washington’s mayor since 1979, is charged with 13 counts of cocaine use and possession and one count of lying to a grand jury. He faces up to 26 years in prison and $1.85 million in fines if convicted on all counts.

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In earlier testimony, Moore said that she and Barry had maintained a sexual relationship from 1986 through 1988 and that they used drugs together more than 100 times during a three-year period ending in 1989.

During Friday’s court proceedings, Mundy accused Moore of seeking vengeance against Barry for past sexual misbehavior and of making a deal with authorities to avoid prosecution for her own drug use and admitted perjury before a grand jury.

Mundy, who is mounting an entrapment defense based on the assertion that Barry was lured into smoking crack cocaine against his will, sought to dissect, step by step, Moore’s videotaped conversation with Barry on the night of the arrest.

Moving line by line through a transcript of the sting videotape, Mundy noted that when Moore asked Barry: “You want to do something?” Barry replied: “Not tonight, naw.”

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“The matter should have ended there, shouldn’t it?” Mundy asked. “The FBI wanted you to get him to use drugs; he says, no, no to drugs, and that should have ended it. Your job should have been done.”

Moore replied: “No. Because I was there for a purpose.”

Mundy responded: “Yes, to get him to use drugs, even against his will.”

Moore told a grand jury last January that her instructions from the FBI included warnings not to persuade or coerce Barry to take drugs and to take none herself.

“If your job was not to invite, persuade, coerce, why didn’t it end there?” Mundy asked. “Did you go beyond your FBI mandate . . . in your zeal to get Mr. Barry?”

“I was not out to get Mr. Barry,” Moore declared. “I did not invite, coerce, persuade Mr. Barry in any way that night.”

But then she conceded: “I did get overwhelmed in the course of the evening and did bring it (the subject of drugs) up out of context at times.”

Moore accepted Mundy’s suggestion that “the plan was to keep Barry in the hotel room,” even though the mayor had told Moore in an earlier telephone conversation that he wanted to meet her in the lobby.

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“Obviously, Barry didn’t have drugs on his mind if he wanted to meet you in the lobby for a drink,” Mundy said.

“This is correct,” Moore replied.

“You had drugs on your mind when you invited him upstairs,” Mundy said.

“This is correct,” Moore said.

At another point, Moore said: “I knew I had to get him upstairs,” where the FBI had set up a concealed video camera and microphone.

In response to Mundy’s questioning, Moore acknowledged lying to a grand jury in May, 1989, on five issues, including her own drug history, her drug use with Barry and her association with Charles Lewis, another prosecution witness and convicted drug dealer involved with Barry.

Mundy accused Moore of seeking revenge on Barry for having betrayed her sexually with another drug-using acquaintance and prospective trial witness, Maria McCarthy.

Moore denied any such motive.

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