Porn suspect acknowledged taping girl, 9, psychiatrist says

April 23, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A Glen Burnie man facing a rare pornography production charge in U.S. District Court in Baltimore acknowledged undressing and videotaping a sleeping 9-year-old girl in an interview with a forensic psychiatrist after he was charged, the psychiatrist testified yesterday.

Gordon Elliott Thomas III, 29, could receive a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison if he is convicted on the sexual exploitation charge. At a detention hearing yesterday, forensic psychiatrist Neil H. Blumberg of Baltimore said he thought Thomas could remain safely outside of jail for now.

Blumberg said that in a five-hour evaluation last week, Thomas acknowledged the "hidden dirty secret that he's been dealing with for some time," and appeared anxious to receive psychiatric help. Assistant Federal Public Defender Gary W. Christopher is seeking to have Thomas released to his mother's house in Connecticut until trial.

Federal prosecutors say Thomas should remain jailed. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan P. Luna noted that federal authorities had discovered more than 16,000 images of child pornography during a search of Thomas' home and computer, even after Thomas had said in a written statement to law enforcement: "I am not obsessed with the material, and I really don't have much of it."

U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey is expected to decide early next week whether to release Thomas.

Among the pornography materials discovered by authorities investigating Thomas was the videotape of a 9-year-old girl whom Thomas sometimes cared for, according to court records and testimony. On the video, taped while the child slept, her underwear is removed.

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