Internet ban is ordered for sex-crimes convict

Man under house arrest for 2 unrelated offenses

March 16, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Gaithersburg man was banned yesterday from the Internet for five years and sentenced to two years' home detention after his conviction in unrelated cases for sending pornographic pictures on the Internet to an 11-year-old New Jersey girl and molesting an 8-year-old Hampstead girl.

Additional conditions of probation imposed on Calvin G. Horelick by Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. included the defendant's registering as a sex offender, having no contact with any female younger than age 18, remaining in therapy and forfeiting his computer to a family member.

Burns also fined Horelick $10,000, payable in five annual installments of $2,000, and asked prosecutor Tracy A. Gilmore and defense attorney Steven J. Bienstock to reach agreement within a few days on acceptable reasons for which Horelick may leave his home without violating probation.

Burns outlined the terms for Horelick after imposing consecutive 10-year prison sentences, which he suspended. Horelick had pleaded guilty in December to distribution of child pornography and to a third-degree sexual offense.

"We asked for incarceration and Judge Burns was bound by the plea agreement to impose no more than eight years to serve," Gilmore said. "But the judge's sentence with all its special conditions attached to five years' probation addressed all our concerns for punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation and public safety."

At December's plea, prosecutors said a New Jersey mother reported the incident June 25 to the Carroll County state's attorney. Maryland State Police traced the source of pornographic pictures to Horelick through his Internet address and a telephone number he had given her daughter.

The same day, a Hampstead mother reported Horelick had sexually abused her 8-year-old daughter after luring the girl to his home.

Gilmore said she had never seen a judge prohibit Internet access as a condition of probation.

"We're just beginning to get into computer crimes," she said. "Judge Burns' decision was appropriate, and we'll probably see more of these kinds of conditions imposed as we get more cases like it."

Gilmore also praised Burns for adding extra checks and balances in Horelick's therapy, ordering that the defendant remain in therapy until his therapist contacts the court to report he no longer needs it.

Horelick also must visit Dr. Ellen McDaniel, a Towson psychiatrist, once a year for the duration of his probation, Gilmore noted.

"That's another little extra check, to be certain [Horelick] is doing what he needs to do," she said.

McDaniel had testified for the defense, telling Burns that she found a dramatic change in Horelick in a seven-month span between visits with him.

"His therapy seems to be working well, and he's come a long way toward maturing," McDaniel said. In arguing to keep his client from incarceration, Bienstock said Horelick was in crisis. He had started a business that failed, lost his house and was forced to take night-shift work at Random House.

After the charges surfaced, his employers said they could no longer guarantee his safety among co-workers, Bienstock said. His wife moved to Florida with their two sons soon after he was arrested in June, Bienstock said.

"To impose the maximum sentence, to warehouse him, would be the easy solution," Bienstock said. "To find a way to punish him, but allow him the chance to continue treatment and become rehabilitated is the best solution."

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