SNOW HILL – A Berlin man arrested last March on several drug and sex offense charges, after resort police found he and another woman spent an hour attempting to hide or destroy narcotics before calling 911 for a victim who nearly died from an overdose, was found guilty on several counts last week in Circuit Court and was sentenced to a combined 12 years in jail.
Ronald Richard Baker II, 23, of Berlin, appeared in Circuit Court last Friday to face 10 total charges from second-degree rape and assault to reckless endangerment and drug distribution stemming from an incident last March 23 in a downtown Ocean City motel room. According to police reports, Baker had supplied drugs including morphine, Percocet and marijuana to two women in the room. One woman later went into cardiac arrest and had to be revived by Ocean City paramedics.
Last Friday, Baker was found guilty of second-degree rape, a charge added when a rape test, administered to the victim after she regained consciousness came back positive and was sentenced to 12 years in jail. In addition, Baker was found guilty of distribution of morphine and was sentenced to five years.
Baker was also found guilty of reckless endangerment because he and another woman spent nearly an hour attempting to get rid of all evidence of drugs in the room before calling 911 and was sentenced to five years on that charge. Finally, he was sentenced to one year for possession of marijuana. All of the sentences will be served concurrently, netting Baker 12 years in jail.
According to the facts of the case, Ocean City police responded to the Madison Beach Motel on March 23 for a report on an unconscious female. When police arrived, EMTs were already administering CPR on the victim and learned she had been in full cardiac arrest prior to their arrival.
Officers asked Baker, who had been sharing the motel room with the victim, reportedly his girlfriend, for about a week, what drugs she might have ingested so that they would know what course of action to take with her treatment. Baker allegedly told police the victim was a regular drug user who frequently took Percocet and other prescription pills combined with alcohol. Baker told police he had been sharing the room with the victim for a week and the other woman was a frequent visitor.
While officers were talking with Baker, they observed marijuana in the sink and the toilet in an adjacent bathroom. Further investigation revealed more marijuana and morphine pills in a Ford Explorer parked in a parking spot assigned to the motel room. According to police reports, Baker and the other woman found the victim unresponsive, and when attempts to revive her were unsuccessful, they began to attempt to rid the room of drugs.
According to police reports, Baker and his accomplice spent over an hour attempting to destroy or hide any evidence of drugs before calling 911, behavior that “created a substantial risk of death or severe injury to the victim,” according to the statement of charges. The delay in calling 911 was the reason for the reckless endangerment charge, for which Baker was sentenced to five years.
It was only learned later that Baker had sexually assaulted the victim at some point during the incident, according to Worcester County State’s Attorney spokesperson Mallory Eckman.
“Once the victim had regained consciousness, they did a rape test on her that came back positive, which was why the second-degree rape and second-degree assault charges were added,” she said.
Baker later admitted giving morphine and Percocet to both women in the motel room on the night of the incident. He told police he had purchased the drugs illegally on the street.