GARY — A Gary councilwoman called her alleged abuser and former Lake County Councilman Jamal Washington a "master of deception," Saturday in a statement.
Washington, 45, was formally charged Friday with five felony counts related to criminal confinement, domestic battery and intimidation in an incident involving Gary Councilwoman LaVetta Sparks-Wade, who long has been one of his biggest supporters and political allies and is currently running for Gary mayor.
"Domestic violence does not occur overnight, nor does it transpire suddenly," Sparks-Wade said in a written statement. "It presents as a gradual erosion of the character, self-esteem and confidence of its victims until they no longer recognize themselves. This is a difficult experience; I know that this was not my fault and I want other women to know, it is not their fault. I may be battered and bruised, but I am not broken. I have no idea what the path to healing holds, but in the words of Wess Morgan, 'God will get me through this.'"
In her statement, Sparks-Wade said she could not speak to details of the incident, but said she felt it was important to speak to the residents of Gary.
Sparks-Wade told police Washington threatened to kill her, and in a fit of rage, battered and held her against her will in her home, newly filed court records show.
Court records show how Sparks-Wade feared for her life as her "live-in boyfriend" and current Gary City Council candidate struck her several times with his fists and at least once with her cellphone, striking her in the lip during the near-16 hour ordeal that began about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, court records allege.
Authorities noted swelling on Sparks-Wade’s upper lip, a wound on the inside of her lip, swelling on her neck and right side forearm. She was taken Thursday to the hospital for treatment, according to court records.
Washington was arrested early Wednesday morning after authorities responded to Sparks-Wade's home. Lake Superior Court Magistrate Judge Kathleen Sullivan ordered Washington to be held without bond Friday.
Washington is in jail for 15 days following his latest domestic charge as prosecutors seek to revoke his probation in his most recent conviction, the Lake County prosecutor's office said.
For years, Sparks-Wade has been unwavering in her support for Washington through his domestic violence convictions, going so far as favorably testifying on his behalf late last year when he faced a jury trial for battering a 24-year-old female cousin.
She posted bond for him in that case, and also sent The Times a video through Facebook after his arrest, which purported to show Washington, who is off camera, asking the cousin to leave the house, contrary to allegations he held her there against her will.
Moments after the jury issued a verdict in that case, the two even appeared in a Nov. 14 Facebook video together where Washington claimed the charges were brought as part of a conspiracy against him.
"As many of you are aware, I have tried to be open, transparent and accountable," Sparks-Wade said in Saturday's statement. "I have shared my personal testimony which consists of triumphs and trials, successes and failures. This is one of the times in which my strength, faith and judgment were challenged. I supported and defended Mr. Washington in the past. I now know firsthand that he is a master of deception."
Washington's name has appeared four times since 2009 on the Indiana Protective Order Registry, listing court orders forbidding him contact with people who alleged in court they were in fear of him.