October 05, 2007

Federal custody ordered for child-porn suspect

A federal magistrate judge ordered yesterday that a Perry Hall man charged with possession and production of child pornography be held in federal custody until a more complete hearing is held next week to determine whether the man should be set free or detained while awaiting trial.

Stephen Michael Gayer, 37, of the 100 block of Bourbon Court is charged federally and by the state with sex crimes involving minors.

He was arrested by Baltimore County police last week and released on $150,000 bond but was picked up Wednesday evening by FBI agents on the federal charges. In Gayer's first court appearance yesterday on the federal charges, U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey ordered that he be held until a detention hearing Tuesday.

The federal charges stem from a complaint filed by a teenage girl who told county police that Gayer had sexually abused her for two years and taken nude photos of her in his basement, according to charging documents.

When police searched Gayer's house, they found several unlabeled compact discs, including one containing photographs of nude prepubescent girls posing in his basement, according to the court documents.

Two other girls shown in the digital photos told investigators that Gayer invited them -- they were then ages 10 and 12 -- to his home the night before a planned trip to Busch Gardens, according to charging documents. There, Gayer played strip poker with the girls, directed them to get into his hot tub, gave them alcohol and coached them through sexual contact with each other, according to the court documents.

The girls refused when Gayer attempted to engage in the sexual contact with them.

Gayer acknowledged to police that the computer in his bedroom contained nude pictures of one of the girls, but he denied taking the photographs or loading them onto his computer, according to court records.

In addition to the pornography counts, Gayer was charged in Baltimore County with five counts of sex abuse of a minor and other sex offenses in the alleged abuse of a teenage girl and an 8-year-old girl.

Baltimore County police, who in announcing Gayer's arrest asked anyone with additional information on the man to call them, said yesterday that they received a call this week from another girl who alleged that Gayer had abused her. County police spokesman Cpl. Michael Hill said detectives are investigating and that no charges have been filed in connection with those allegations.

Jennifer McMenamin


Peace walk to be held tomorrow

The second Walk for Peace and Preservation along the Northern Central Railroad Trail will be held tomorrow.

The seven-mile walk, organized by a group of northern Baltimore County preservationists, will begin at 9 a.m. at the Monkton Station with a short ceremony including music, poetry, a meditation and stretching. The group will walk south along the trail to Paper Mill Road.

Walkers may start or stop at any point. Strollers and bicycles are permitted.

A shuttle will be available to the starting point from the large parking lot at Paper Mill Road.

Information: 410-591-0892. A map of the trail is available at www.dnr.state.md.us/greenways/ncrt_trail.html.

Fire prevention

Stations to be open to visitors

Baltimore County's career and volunteer fire stations will open to the public tomorrow to mark Fire Prevention Week.

All 25 career and 32 of the 33 volunteer stations will be open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Arcadia Volunteer Fire Company will set its own open house schedule.

Firefighters and emergency medical personnel will be available to provide station tours, answer safety questions and distribute fire and injury-prevention literature.

A list of county fire stations and their locations is available online at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/fire/stationinfo/index.html.

Fire Prevention Week, a national awareness event, is observed during the week of Oct. 9, the anniversary of two of the nation's worst fires, the Great Chicago Fire and the Peshtigo, Wis., fire, which both occurred Oct. 8- 9, 1871.

Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to baltco.news@baltsun.com. Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance of the event.

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