Football coach indicted on sex charges

November 08, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

A Carroll County grand jury has handed down a 16-count indictment against a Westminster football coach suspected of abusing teen-age boys over a period of several years.

The indictment, handed down Thursday, lists two teen-age victims. Both victims were already known to Westminster police and the state's attorney's office, who, in September, had already filed a criminal complaint against the football coach in District Court.

Named in the indictment was Richard T. Mercer, a 46-year-old football coach for the Westminster Optimists Club. The Optimists club fields teams of boys under high-school age.

Carroll State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman held a news conference Oct. 22, when he made a plea for people who believe they were childhood victims of sexual abuse by Mr. Mercer to come forward.

At that news conference, Mr. Hickman had identified three victims, two of whom were the subject of Thursday's indictment.

The third case is still under investigation.

Mr. Mercer is expected to be arrested tomorrow afternoon, said Westminster Police Lt. Dean Brewer.

Among the charges listed in the indictment are three counts of child abuse, three counts of battery, four counts of third-degree sexual offense, two counts of fourth-degree sexual offense, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor.

If convicted on all counts, Mr. Mercer could be sentenced to 97 years in prison and fined up to $9,000.

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