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Barry Strongly Denies Prison Sex Incident

January 6, 1992

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, in a telephone call from prison, forcefully denied late Sunday that a woman performed oral sex on him in an inmate visiting room. He called the prisoner who reported the alleged incident a ″professional liar.″

″If it had happened to me I’d have been locked up (with tighter restrictions) now,″ Barry maintained in the interview with WRC-TV, suggesting if the incident had occurred he would not be allowed to make telephone calls.

Earlier, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed that authorities are still investigating the allegations brought by Floyd Archer Robertson, another inmate at the minimum security prison at Petersburg, Va., where Barry is serving a six-month sentence for cocaine possession.

Barry, calling media coverage of the charges ″vindictive and irresponsible, said Robertson’s story is ″absolutely″ false. ″He’s just trying to bash Marion Barry and get his sentenced reduced,″ Barry said.

Gregory Bogdan, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, said that the investigation will examine Robertson’s allegations that a prison guard arranged for a prostitute to visit Barry in the visitors’ area where the incident allegedly occurred Dec. 29 with other inmates and their families nearby.

″Art Robertson is a convicted felon. He has at least 5 or 10 years of time to do in the federal prison,″ Barry said. ″He masqueraded as a physician, and they are taking this as gospel.″

Robertson said the woman performed oral sex on Barry in front of at least 30 people. He said Barry confronted him after Robertson complained to prison authorities.

Robertson, jailed for distribution of a controlled substance, was serving a 35-month sentence at the prison. After the incident he was transferred to another facility.

Barry’s lawyer, Kenneth Mundy, said Barry did have visitors Dec. 29, but declined to identify them or say whether any were women.

Barry, a three-term Washington mayor, was convicted last year of cocaine possession and began serving a six-month term Oct. 26. He said the woman who visited him that day was not a hooker.

Prison officials said Robertson denied a follow-up interview request Sunday by The Associated Press.

But in a telephone interview Saturday, Robertson told the AP that he and Barry had become friendly when the former mayor joined his prison bridge club, playing almost every night. Barry also briefly joined Robertson’s aerobics class.

On Dec. 29, Robertson said he was visited by his wife Nancy Lee and his daughter and son, ages 13 and 16. The four sat at a coffee table in the visitors’ room.

At first, he said, Barry and his woman visitor fondled each other. Then they moved to a card-type table, about eight feet from where Robertson and his wife sat, he said.

″There’s no way I wouldn’t have seen it. My wife’s eyes were as big as saucers. She was shaking,″ Robertson said, adding that his children did not see the incident.

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