Coach charged with sexual abuse is jailed after surrendering to police

November 11, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

The Westminster football coach under indictment on charges of child sexual abuse was jailed on $100,000 bond yesterday at the Carroll County Detention Center.

Richard Thomas Mercer may be released if he posts $10,000, or 10 percent of the bond, but he would have to avoid contact with anyone under 18 years of age, Circuit Judge Raymond Beck Sr. ruled.

Mr. Mercer surrendered to Westminster City Police at 9 a.m. yesterday.

He was taken before the judge for a bail review hearing in the afternoon.

"His attorney told us last week that he would be turning himself in after the indictment was handed down," said police Lt. Dean Brewer. "He came in and was photographed, fingerprinted and taken to jail."

Mr. Mercer, who coached boys under high school age on Optimist

Club football teams, was indicted in September on abuse charges, but the indictment was not publicized until late October.

The defendant is accused of taking several of the boys he coached to his home or another location, giving them alcohol and abusing them when they were drunk.

Three boys said they were victims in the case, including a 15-year-old who said he was fondled by Mr. Mercer and was forced to perform sexual acts Sept. 18, according to state prosecutors and the indictment.

State prosecutors in Carroll have said they believed Mr. Mercer sexually abused many boys during the decade he has been involved in youth sports. At a press conference Oct. 22, prosecutors urged other victims to come forward.

At yesterday's hearing, Judge Beck denied a motion by defense attorney Daniel H. Green for work-release for Mr. Mercer pending trial.

However, the judge agreed to let Mr. Mercer continue therapy sessions twice a week with a Baltimore psychiatrist.

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