Trusted neighbor accused of child abuse

Male baby sitter molested two children, police say

September 17, 2002|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

A Reisterstown man known as "Uncle Larry" by neighborhood children has been accused of sexually assaulting two of the 6-year-olds he frequently baby-sat, leaving parents in the neighborhood visibly upset by the news.

Larry E. Davis, 51, who lives with relatives in the 12300 block of Boncrest Drive, was arrested by Baltimore County police Wednesday on two counts each of child abuse and third-degree sex offense charges.

Police said he molested a 6-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl at different times between June and earlier this month. The children also told police that Davis would perform sex acts in front of them.

Davis is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $20,000 bail. A woman at Davis' rowhouse declined to comment on the charges.

Neighbors, many of whom learned only yesterday of Davis' arrest, said he frequently played with the dozens of children riding their bikes up and down the street, taking them out to a vegetable garden he tended in the back yard.

For some, it never crossed their minds that Davis, who neighbors said was an unemployed factory worker, would ever be accused of molesting children.

"The best anything any parent can do is listen to your kids and watch out for adults who spend too much time with them," said LeRoy McKee, who repairs manufacturing equipment and has four children. His wife stays at home and takes care of their children and watches other children at their Boncrest Drive home.

Lisa Utterback, who has two children and also takes care of youngsters in her Boncrest Drive home, said she was considering moving because of the accusations.

"I'm outraged," she said, standing with other neighbors. "It's a scary thing."

Some had long ago made the decision not to let their children play in the neighborhood at all.

"I don't let my grandchildren out on this street," said Rosalind Marshall, a retired education clerk, who lives across the street from Davis. "Not everybody here is on the up and up."

Police asked anyone with additional information about this case, or who may know of other similar incidents involving Larry Davis, to call investigators at 410-853-3650.

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