A former Arundel High School drama teacher pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to a charge that he received child pornography over the Internet.
Bruce Edward McDade, 48, of the first block of Research Road in Greenbelt could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 months in federal prison.
Since his arrest, McDade has been assigned to administrative duties at the Anne Arundel Board of Education headquarters in Annapolis. As part of an earlier court agreement, he lives with his brother, Dennis McDade.
Bruce McDade was indicted by a federal grand jury May 13 on eight counts of distributing and five counts of receiving "a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct," court documents show.
McDade agreed to plead guilty in exchange for the government dropping all remaining charges.
U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr. accepted the guilty plea and will hear arguments March 10 and 17 to determine McDade's sentence.
McDade's lawyer, M. Brooke Murdock, said she will argue that her client is guilty of a lower level of offense that carries a sentence of between 15 and 21 months.
As part of the plea agreement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Wilkinson will recommend a sentence of 24 to 30 months.
Murdock said her client entered a guilty plea because he didn't want to risk further embarrassment.
"He wanted to save his family and his students from a trial," Murdock said.
Murdock said her client sees a psychiatrist several times a week for treatment of depression, and she gave Williams a list of six medications her client takes for depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and an allergy.
According to a statement attached to the plea agreement, McDade had a conversation Jan. 9 on America Online with a U.S. Customs Service informant. He identified himself to the informant as Bruce and told him that he was a teacher.
Later that day, McDade received a picture of boys engaged in sexual activity from another AOL subscriber, and he sent the picture to the informant and a third subscriber.
McDade received and distributed different pornographic pictures to the informant and others over the Internet six more times between Jan. 9 and Feb. 18.
The transmissions sometimes included comments about the nature and explicitness of the material, the court documents show.
One month later, U.S. Postal Service and Customs officials raided McDade's home, seized his computer and floppy disks.
McDade gave the law enforcement agencies a detailed confession, told them he had about 10 pornographic pictures stored on his computer and gave them a password that allowed them access to his files, the court documents said.
Pub Date: 12/12/96