A 24-year-old man accused of abducting and assaulting a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge is being held on $500,000 bond after a bond review was held on Monday.
Rickley Senning made his first appearance in court after being arrested in Florida over two weeks ago.
Judge Audrey Creighton has described her relationship with Senning as both platonic and intimate. The judge is 53 years old and Senning is 24.
According to court documents, Judge Creighton was looking to spend some time with Senning on the evening of May 19, but he became enraged over what he thought she had been doing, called her a liar, grabbed her by the hair and forced the judge into her car.
The statement of charges released in the case lay out a violent encounter that began in the judge’s house on Peach Tree Road in Dickerson, Md.
The document says Senning appeared intoxicated and had a glass shard in his left hand when the judge returned home just before 10 p.m. on May 19.
According to the judge, Senning pulled her by the hair and continued to scream at her.
Creighton told the police she was extremely afraid and in fear for her life as Senning forced her to drive very fast down rural county roads.
At one point, the document says Senning pushed Creighton’s knee down on the accelerator and told her to go faster. The judge was able to steer the car into a Harris Teeter parking lot where she jumped and tussled with Senning before getting away.
Senning then jumped into the judge’s car and took off -- crashing a short distance away.
Outside the courthouse on Monday, Senning's attorney Joseph Fay met briefly with reporters.
"I am heading back inside to the clerk’s office to enter my appearance for Mr. Senning and I have no further comment at this time,” he said.
Because of the sensitive nature of the case, the State's Attorney Office in Prince George's County will be handling the prosecution.
"We were asked by the Montgomery County State's Attorney because this is a circuit court judge here in the county,” said John Erzen of the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office. “He didn't want any potential conflict of interest, so they asked us and we have done this for them and they have done it for us.”
Court records show Creighton has previously acted as Senning's defense counsel when she was a defense attorney in the county.
She then was appointed district court judge before being nominated to the circuit court by Governor Martin O'Malley earlier this year.
She is now on the June ballot where county voters will ask to choose four out of five candidates to remain on the bench.
Judge Creighton is also a law school faculty member at American University.
The day after the alleged assault, Judge Creighton swore out a protection order against Senning. In it, she said the two were intimate partners. She also said the 24-year-old had lived with her in the summer of 2013.
Senning has a long record of arrests, and in 2008, he was sentenced to five years in prison for punching a handcuffed inmate and assaulting two corrections officers.
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