A 53-year-old northeast Carroll man pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually abusing three neighborhood children for at least the past four years.
The man, whose name is being withheld to protect the children's privacy, pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse and two counts of battery. As a part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop nine other charges against him.
According to court documents, the man would take the children shopping or to get something to eat and then take them to his bedroom, where he would force them to perform sex acts. On at least one occasion, the man had intercourse with one of the victims.
The children are now 5 to 13 years old. The abuse began to the older children in 1988, court documents said.
The man was arrested in October after one of the children reported the abuse to police.
In a statement to state police, the man said that he didn't want to "drag the kids through" a court appearance "because you are going to put me in jail, so it doesn't matter."
He told police that he, too, was abused when he was a child.
"Well, I came through the Baltimore City welfare department," he told state police Tfc. Robert Lipsky. "I was 5 1/2 years old and I was with kids of 18, girls and boys, and they make you do everything down there."
Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. set sentencing for April 27. The man is being held in the Carroll County Detention Center.
State prosecutor Eileen McInerney said yesterday the state might be willing to agree to alternatives to sending the man to state prison.