Teacher in porn case is released Bruce McDade put in brother's custody after court hearing

'No contact' with minors

Judge rules he can't use the Internet or on-line services

April 23, 1996|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,SUN STAFF

The Arundel High School teacher charged with using the Internet to obtain child pornography was freed yesterday morning to his brother's custody after a hearing in federal court.

Federal charges of illegal trafficking are expected to be filed this week against Bruce Edward McDade, 47, U.S. Customs Service spokesman Timothy J. Holloran said.

In a Greenbelt courtroom with only lawyers, reporters and a few family members present, U.S. Magistrate Judge James E. Kenkel told Mr. McDade he is to have "no contact with children under 18."

"You will have a nonteaching, noncoaching administrative position," said Judge Kenkel, reading off a list of conditions for Mr. McDade's release. "You will have no contact with students, present or other."

Mr. McDade may stay with his brother, Dennis McDade of the 4200 block of Kenny St. in Beltsville, or another family member, but he may not live alone, the judge said.

Additionally, Mr. McDade is prohibited from using a computer for anything other than word processing and is not allowed to use the Internet or any on-line services.

Mr. McDade was charged with possession of child pornography after federal agents from the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. customs office raided his Greenbelt home on Thursday.

Agents found computer images of boys "clearly under the age of 12 engaging in either sexual intercourse, masturbation, and other sexually explicit conduct," according to an affidavit by Postal Inspector Thomas E. Boyle filed in U.S. District Court. In addition, they seized books, magazines, videotapes and photographs that showed youths engaging in illicit behavior and letters offering to buy, sell or transmit child pornography, according to the search warrant unsealed by federal court yesterday.

According to court documents, a special agent for customs in Phoenix, Ariz., contacted Special Agent Lisa M. Ward in Baltimore Feb. 21 about an investigation into the trading of child pornography on the Internet.

The agents used an informant who had electronic chats in a private room on the Internet, called "The Boy's Room," with a man who called himself "TaranPB," later identified as Mr. McDade. TaranPB sent an image to the informant Jan. 9 and four times in February, the documents state.

The images showed boys as young as 4 having sex or performing sex acts on adult men. Electronic mail conversations between TaranPB and the informant showed extensive discussions "regarding pedophile activities," according to the documents.

Investigators located Mr. McDade after he allegedly asked the informant to send him a videocassette of child pornography and gave the informant his address, court documents show.

Mr. McDade, a speech and drama teacher for 24 years, is a leader in youth theater and the writer of a highly praised play on child abuse, "My Own Little Boy," which his students presented this year at a drama festival in Montgomery County.

Arundel school officials said Mr. McDade will be reassigned to a position in the central office in Annapolis pending the resolution of the case and a school system investigation.

Federal prosecutors would not comment, but defense attorney Brooke Murdock said she is concerned about the attention the case has been getting in the news media.

"I suspect this case is very weak because if it wasn't, the government wouldn't feel the need to try this case in the press beforehand," Ms. Murdock said. "The Internet is a new area of the law. They may be very worried about this search. If the search is held to be improper, then all the evidence is inadmissible."

Pub Date: 4/23/96

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