Coach faces child-porn charges

March 06, 2007|By Gina Davis | Gina Davis,Sun Reporter

A Baltimore County gymnastics coach who told authorities he is "fascinated by little girls" faces federal charges of possessing child pornography after investigators seized from his home more than 800 videotapes and magazines showing children having sex with men, and books and newspaper articles about pedophilia and child abduction.

Patrick David Bogan, 41, of Edgewood was arrested Friday after federal agents searched the home he shares with his 73-year-old mother, according to court records. If convicted, Bogan could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison, prosecutors said yesterday after a detention hearing in federal court in Baltimore.

Bogan, a coach for the past 11 years at Baltimore County Gymnastics in White Marsh, told federal agents that he became interested in child pornography during the 1980s and has been looking at it on the computer for the past five years, court documents show. He likened his interest in child pornography to stamp collecting, authorities said.

Thomas Bonomo, co-owner of Baltimore County Gymnastics, said Bogan was fired Friday after his arrest. The coach worked with children ages 5 to 15.

Charging documents do not indicate that any of the pornography depicts children from the center.

Bonomo said the center was founded 25 years ago with about 30 children in an elementary school and has grown to more than 700 children in recreational and competitive teams that practice in a 12,000-square-foot facility on Allender Road.

"This has shocked us," Bonomo said outside federal court after the hearing. "We trust the people we have in there."

When Bogan was arrested Friday, he told authorities he had downloaded pictures of child pornography that morning, authorities said.

"It's important for people to understand that if you think you can secretly collect child pornography, you're mistaken," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, adding that Bogan's case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative. "The mere possession is a federal crime."

During yesterday's hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey ordered Bogan to be detained until at least March 27, when another hearing has been scheduled, to allow federal investigators more time to review "the vast quantity of material" taken from his home.

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