More MS news articles for September 2000

Youth minister out on bail in slay case

By Marcella Bombardieri, Globe Staff, 9/1/2000

Louis King Jr., charged with killing his girlfriend 15 years ago, walked out of a Suffolk courthouse yesterday on $100,000 cash bail, a young Dorchester woman said she has renewed her resolve to pursue charges of rape she first made against King four years ago.

Ten days after his arraignment, King, 44, was bailed out of jail by supporters of the work he does as a youth minister at First Church in Roxbury. The Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry, which maintains First Church, provided the money, along with donations from friends and family.

King is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of 21-year-old Gayla Tyler in a Jamaica Plain apartment on April 7, 1985. Tyler's mother, Catherine Tyler, has been pursuing the case for years, and prosecutors say new witnesses were interviewed last year.

King was charged with rape in 1996 in a separate case, but prosecutors dropped the charge in 1998. They did so, according to documents, not because the case was weak, but because the young woman had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

"Her disease is still in an active phase, and stress can be an aggravating factor which could worsen her condition," wrote Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Debra J. Markham in a statement on Nov. 2, 1998. "Her treating physician has recommended that she not testify in this case."

This week the woman asked the district attorney's office to reopen the rape case.

"I feel like, if I don't [go forward], and he goes out and does to somebody else what he did to me, it's going to be like the blood is on my hands," said the woman, a hospital worker who is now in better health.

The district attorney's office will reconsider the case, but has yet to determine whether to prosecute King for rape, said spokesman James Borghesani.

According to the woman's 1996 testimony to police and a grand jury, King raped her at the First Church when she was 18.

She was friendly with King, according to her testimony, because she had attended a youth group he directed. She got into a car with him and other people on April 23, 1996, but ended up alone with King.

Before dropping her off at home, King insisted he needed to use the bathroom at the church, she told the grand jury. He unfolded a pull-out couch while she was out of the room, she said, and in short order pulled her down on the bed and raped her.

After the alleged rape, King dropped the woman off at her sister's house. "He told me he was going to sleep good tonight," and not to talk, she said in her testimony.

"That charge was a fabrication," King's defense attorney, James Doyle, said in response.

Doyle added that he investigated the rape charge and presented prosecutors with evidence that contributed to their decision to drop the case.

The Rev. Elizabeth Ellis, director of the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry, defended King as a redeemed man who has helped youth and once disbanded a gang. She said she doesn't believe that he shot Gayla Tyler or raped the Dorchester woman.

"If I thought he had done that, I would have taken him to the police myself," said Ellis, who added that King went home to rest after being released on bail yesterday.

King's record includes a prison term for armed robbery in 1997, along with other convictions for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and drug possession, according to the Suffolk district attorney's office. Most recently, in 1997, he received a 30-day sentence for drunken driving.

This story ran on page B02 of the Boston Globe on 9/1/2000.
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