Marilyn Mosby [Source:]

The Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, the National Bar Association and more than a dozen civil rights groups have sent letters to Joe Biden asking him to pardon convicted Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

These groups describe her conviction as political targeting for her exposure of mass corruption amongst the Baltimore Police.

On May 23, 2024, a judge sentenced Mosby to one year of home detention, three years of supervised release, 100 hour of community service, and forfeiture of 90% of a Florida housing purchase. All this for convictions on one of two “mortgage fraud” charges, and one for perjury.

The mortgage fraud was reportedly making an inaccurate statement on a mortgage application. The perjury charge involved reporting ‘financial difficulty’ reasons in taking her own money out of her retirement fund early using a Covid year loophole.

Marilyn Mosby came into office in 2015 and restructured her office in line with prosecutors from New York to Los Angeles. She differed from most prosecutors in charging six police officers involved with young black Freddie Gray’s death with second degree murder. Gray’s 2015 death triggered the Baltimore race ‘rebellions’ (often called ‘riots’).[1]

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated
Police officers charged by Mosby in death of Freddie Gray. [Source:]

Mosby also prosecuted a serial sex offender who had been acquitted in four previous sexual assault cases. She then publicly argued for the state to bring “our predatory sexual assault laws in line with the federal statute.”

She further announced she would stop prosecuting marijuana cases regardless of the quantity, and vacated nearly 5,000 previous marijuana convictions.[2]

In December 2019, State’s Attorney Mosby said that “she maintained a list of police officers” who concerned her regarding “whether their testimony in court could be trusted.” She said this was due to police officers’ “theft, planting evidence, perjury, corruption and fraud.” After a court battle, this list, containing the names of more than 300 officers, was released.[3]

An Embattled State’s Attorney, Protected Serial Attackers and Adnan Syed’s Release

In 1999, a Baltimore man said he found 18-year-old Woodlawn High School student Hae Min Lee’s body strangled to death deep in some woods in Baltimore City. Police arrested Lee’s former boyfriend, her 17-year-old Muslim classmate Adnan Syed. Due partly to a friend’s testimony and cellphone tower records, a jury found Syed guilty of murder and other charges in 2000, and a judge sentenced him to life imprisonment.[4]

After Syed was exonerated—having spent two decades behind bars for a murder he had been convicted of as a minor—Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office revealed her predecessors’ cover-up of two other suspects—a serial rapist and a serial nude assault perpetrator.

Amidst national attention on this murder case involving Syed, Maryland’s Attorney General, Brian Frosh, continued with attempts to re-incarcerate Syed, despite his 23 years in prison.

Syed’s attorney, Erica Suter, a director of the Innocence Project Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law, said Maryland Attorney General Frosh’s continued appeal of Syed’s exoneration, is a “troubling but not surprising” attempt to defend its own misconduct.[5]

Muslim Syed Imprisoned at 17 in 2000, Exonerated in October 2022

In 2014, the Peabody Award-winning podcast “Serial” presented witness Asia McClain, who had said she wanted to testify about Adnan Syed studying with her in the library at the time of Lee’s death. Syed’s first lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez, ignored McClain and was later disbarred for client complaints of similar behavior.

The later lawyer of Syed’s, Erica Suter, revealed in a Motion to Vacate, that the friend of Syed’s gave two different accounts to police and then a third account to the media.[6]

Further, the “Serial” podcast “questioned the credibility of the cellphone tower records, and revealed that physical evidence gathered in 1999 was never tested for Syed’s DNA.” That the “Serial” podcast was downloaded more than 100 million times likely helped as a judge then granted Adnan Syed a new trial in 2016, but state appeals kept Syed imprisoned.[7]

Mr. Syed leaving the Baltimore City Circuit Court after a judge overturned his conviction in September.
Mr. Syed leaving the Baltimore City Circuit Court after a judge overturned his conviction. [Source:]

In September 2022, a new Maryland law allowed prosecutors to modify their sentences. State’s Attorney Mosby’s office said they conducted a year-long investigation, including new DNA testing that failed to show Syed’s DNA, but found four other people’s DNA on Hae Min Lee’s shoes.[8]

In October 2022, prosecutors dropped charges and Syed was released from prison. Lee’s family sought to pause the proceedings and Attorney General Frosh joined that motion to bring this change of events to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.[9] Lee’s family later clarified that they only wanted a new evidentiary hearing, not for Syed’s return to prison.[10]

Mosby’s Predecessors Hid Suspects: A Serial Rapist and a Nude Assault Perpetrator

Most importantly, Mosby’s office revealed that her predecessors hid from the Syed defense two alternative suspects. Mosby’s prosecutors wrote that “one of the alternative suspects was convicted in connection to multiple rapes and sexual assaults conducted in a ‘systematic, deliberate and premeditated way.’”[11]

Adnan Syed’s first defense attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, showed a conflict of interest in also representing an alternative suspect in Hae Min-Lee’s murder case at the same time as Syed. Police had found the suspect in the back of a van with his pants down next to a minor teen boy when the suspect was 27 years old in 1999. He was carrying a picture of Syed at that time.[12]

This suspect had never been asked to testify at Syed’s trial, despite his buying a cell phone for Syed and reportedly “mentoring him.” Federal authorities later convicted this suspect in 2017 after he became a medical professional and, between 2010 and 2014, sexually assaulted five male patients after administering anesthesia to them.[13]

The Baltimore Sun wrote that, in 2020, the second alternative suspect came out of some woods naked “wearing nothing but a mask, and carrying what looked like a child’s jacket.” He proceeded to chase a horrified female postal worker, attacking her in her postal truck.[14]

At the trial of this second suspect, County Assistant State’s Attorney Lisa Dever said this man was involved in “serial indecent exposure,” and had “discovered” Hae Min Lee’s body, claiming he “walked 127 feet into the woods to urinate.”

This suspect also pled guilty to assault twice, in 2004 and 2020. Because his indecent exposures included wearing a bunny mask, his northwest Baltimore neighbors nicknamed him ‘The Bunny Man.’[15]

This suspect had already been brought up on several indecent exposure charges before the trial of Syed. The suspect then failed the first polygraph exam they gave him.[16]

And, finally, Hae Min Lee’s car was found directly behind the home of a family member of one of these two suspects after her death.[17]

Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed at junior prom. The photo was used in “The Case Against Adnan Syed,” a documentary series on HBO.
Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed at junior prom. [Source:]

Are U.S. Attorneys Targeting Marilyn Mosby for Exposing Wide-Scale Police Corruption?

After Marilyn Mosby’s office started its investigation of the Adnan Syed case in 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland brought indictments against Marilyn Mosby.

Starting in January 2022, she was charged with seemingly frivolous felony counts regarding “perjury and false mortgage application charges.”[18]

In March 2022 the federal prosecutors added a new “false statement on a mortgage application” charge. Her original charges alone reportedly carry a “maximum penalty of $1 million in fines and up to 30 years in jail.”[19] The serial rape suspect in the Syed case received only 16 years in prison for raping four men, after previous sex with a minor.

Federal authorities appear to be targeting Marilyn Mosby for several reasons. First, because she was one of the first big city prosecutors to fully charge police officers with the murder of Freddie Gray.[20]

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton wrote that Mosby’s filing of “criminal charges was instantly controversial” as “authorities too often dragged their feet” regarding other national, high-profile cases.[21]

Secondly, besides making the list of 305 Baltimore police officers with credibility issues, she investigated and exposed Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force. This police unit paralleled the similar corruption of Los Angeles Ramparts Division’s undercover CRASH unit and Philadelphia’s 39th District.[22]


Could potential exposure of U.S. intelligence activities be one of the reasons that federal authorities have indicted Mosby on trivial fraud charges?

Marilyn Mosby had already started investigating corruption and police brutality within the police department, and utilized the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office, a police arm of the court system separate from the Baltimore Police Department.[23]

Powerful political forces appeared to intervene in several ways. First, the Department of Justice came in to investigate police corruption a week after Mosby’s press conference, superseding her own investigation.[24] Then, the federal government came after Marilyn Mosby.

  1. Jessica Anderson and Justin Fenton, “Mosby announces new leadership strategies,” The Baltimore Sun, January 14, 2015; “Freddie Gray’s death ruled a homicide; 6 Baltimore officers charged,” Yahoo! News, May 1, 2015.–report-124521845.html

  2. Justin George and Justin Fenton, “Jury Convicts Sex Offender in Fifth Trial,” The Baltimore Sun, May 8, 2015.; Shaila Dewar, “Baltimore to Stop Prosecuting Marijuana Possession Cases,” The New York Times, January 29, 2019.

  3. Lee O. Sanderlin, “Credibility list made public by Mosby,” The Baltimore Sun, May 26, 2022 (print version).

  4. Alex Mann and Lee O. Sanderlin, “‘Suspect’ cleared by police in past,” The Baltimore Sun, October 31, 2022 (note that many Baltimore Sun articles below may be the same articles with different names due to being a mix of the print and online version of them). Daniel Victor, “Timeline: The Adnan Syed Case,” The New York Times, October 11, 2022.

  5. Dylan Segelbaum, “Maryland Office of Attorney General questions the integrity of the process that freed Adnan Syed of ‘Serial’ fame,” The Baltimore Banner, October 25, 2022.

  6. Daniel Victor, “Timeline: The Adnan Syed Case,” The New York Times, October 11, 2022. State of Maryland v. Adnan Syed, Motion to Vacate Judgment (Sept. 2022), 7. The Reliability of the Evidence at Trial, C. p. 17.

  7. Daniel Victor, “Timeline: The Adnan Syed Case,” The New York Times, October 11, 2022.


  9. Daniel Victor, “Timeline: The Adnan Syed Case,” The New York Times, October 11, 2022.

  10. Lee O. Sanderlin, “Adnan Syed Case: Lee family appeal can proceed,” The Baltimore Sun, November 5, 2022.

  11. Alex Mann and Lee O. Sanderlin, “‘Serial’ subject may get new trial,” The Baltimore Sun, September 15, 2022.; Alex Mann and Madelaine O’Neill, Mosby sentenced to year of home arrest,” The Baltimore Sun, May 24, 2024, A1.

  12. Lee O. Sanderlin and Alex Mann, “Man considered alternative suspect in Hae Min Lee’s killing was known to authorities, had close ties with Adnan Syed,” The Baltimore Sun, October 3, 2022.

  13. Ibid.

  14. Alex Mann and Lee O. Sanderlin, “‘Suspect’ cleared by police in past.” The Baltimore Sun, October 31, 2022. This suspect lived fewer than 1,000 feet from Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed’s Woodlawn High School. Police found a box of newspaper clippings from 1999-2000, pornography and empty alcohol containers “secreted underneath a couch” in his basement. Alex Mann and Lee O. Sanderlin, “‘Suspect’ cleared by police in past.” The Baltimore Sun, October 31, 2022.

  15. Alex Mann and Lee O. Sanderlin, “‘Suspect’ cleared by police in past.” The Baltimore Sun, October 31, 2022.

  16. .Idem. See also Donald J. Krapohl, Capital Center for Credibility Assessment, in State of Maryland v. Adnan Syed, Motion to Vacate Judgment, (September 2022), 6, “2021-2022 Investigation—Two Suspects Have Been Developed” F. p. 11. A detective brought him in a second time and he passed on a flawed “Peak of Tension” test which an expert stated “no U.S. school” for polygraph exams would support.

  17. State of Maryland v. Adnan Syed, Motion to Vacate Judgment (September 2022), 6. “2021-2022 Investigation—Two Suspects Have Been Developed” B. p. 9. Vacate Motion originally published in Tim Prudente and Dylan Segelbaum, “With evidence of new suspects, Baltimore prosecutors seek to throw out murder conviction of ‘Serial’ podcast subject Adnan Syed,” The Baltimore Banner, September 14, 2022.

  18. U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Maryland, “Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby Facing Perjury and False Mortgage Application Charges Related to Her Purchase of Two Vacation Properties,” January 13, 2022.

  19. Danielle E. Gaines, “In New Indictment, Feds Say Marilyn Mosby Falsely Represented a $5K Gift From Nick Mosby on Fla. Mortgage Application,” Maryland Matters, March 10, 2022.

  20. “Freddie Gray’s death ruled a homicide; 6 Baltimore officers charged,” Yahoo! News, May 1, 2015.–report-124521845.html

  21. Justin Fenton, We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops, and Corruption (New York: Random House, 2021), p. 79.

  22. Lee O. Sanderlin, “Credibility list made public by Mosby,” The Baltimore Sun, May 26, 2022; Justin Fenton, “Mosby: ‘Thousands’ of cases compromised by Gun Trace Task Force Case,” The Baltimore Sun, February 16, 2018.

  23. Fenton, We Own This City, p.75.


CovertAction Magazine is made possible by subscriptionsorders and donations from readers like you.

Blow the Whistle on U.S. Imperialism

Click the whistle and donate

When you donate to CovertAction Magazine, you are supporting investigative journalism. Your contributions go directly to supporting the development, production, editing, and dissemination of the Magazine.

CovertAction Magazine does not receive corporate or government sponsorship. Yet, we hold a steadfast commitment to providing compensation for writers, editorial and technical support. Your support helps facilitate this compensation as well as increase the caliber of this work.

Please make a donation by clicking on the donate logo above and enter the amount and your credit or debit card information.

CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your gift is tax-deductible for federal income purposes. CAI’s tax-exempt ID number is 87-2461683.

We sincerely thank you for your support.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s). CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI), including its Board of Directors (BD), Editorial Board (EB), Advisory Board (AB), staff, volunteers and its projects (including CovertAction Magazine) are not responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. This article also does not necessarily represent the views the BD, the EB, the AB, staff, volunteers, or any members of its projects.

Differing viewpoints: CAM publishes articles with differing viewpoints in an effort to nurture vibrant debate and thoughtful critical analysis. Feel free to comment on the articles in the comment section and/or send your letters to the Editors, which we will publish in the Letters column.

Copyrighted Material: This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. As a not-for-profit charitable organization incorporated in the State of New York, we are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of humanity’s problems and hopefully to help find solutions for those problems. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. You can read more about ‘fair use’ and US Copyright Law at the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.

Republishing: CovertAction Magazine (CAM) grants permission to cross-post CAM articles on not-for-profit community internet sites as long as the source is acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original CovertAction Magazine article. Also, kindly let us know at For publication of CAM articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact:

By using this site, you agree to these terms above.

About the Author

Leave a Reply