Ex-state worker indicted on pornography charges

He is also accused of sexually assaulting 2 young relatives

April 09, 2008|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,Sun reporter

An investigation into a written account of a sexually explicit encounter found on a former state employee's work computer has led to a federal indictment against the 36-year-old man on child pornography charges, along with sex offense charges in Prince George's and St. Mary's counties.

Ronald Glenn Draper Jr., a former clerk at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on six counts of receiving, distributing and possessing more than 600 images of boys in explicit positions or engaging in sex acts.

The March 24 charges grew out of a 137-count indictment in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, where Draper had been charged by Natural Resources Police with storing pornographic images on his state work computer. Local prosecutors dropped those charges yesterday in light of the federal case.

According to charging documents from the Anne Arundel case, a state employee was trying to clear out space for a project he was working on when he discovered a large file titled "Ron's backup." The file allegedly included written depictions of a sexual encounter between a 33-year-old named Ron and a 12-year-old boy.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for Draper's personal e-mail account, and Maryland State Police computer crime lab technicians recovered 137 photos of boys in various states of arousal and undress, according to court records. He was arrested and charged in September.

More charges were to follow the initial findings. In November, Draper was charged in Prince George's County in the sexual assault of a young male relative a decade earlier.

Initially charged with child abuse and indecent exposure, Draper was later indicted in Prince George's County Circuit Court on five counts of third-degree sex offense and two counts of child abuse.

The mother of the boy, who is now 18, said that police raided her Mechanicsville home last year and seized computers. She said Draper had moved in with her family because he needed a place to stay, and he often baby-sat her two children.

"I'm kind of still in shock," said the woman. "I went to see him in jail, and of course he was apologetic. But I don't believe he is remorseful."

The Sun does not name victims of sexual assault and is withholding the woman's name to protect the privacy of her son.

Draper has also been charged in St. Mary's County District Court with a fourth-degree sex offense that is alleged to have occurred in June. According to charging documents, Draper is accused of fondling a different relative who was visiting from out of state, before taking the boy and a female relative to a gay pride parade in Baltimore. Draper has since written to the boy to apologize, according to records.

The warrant for that charge has yet to be served, and St. Mary's County Assistant State's Attorney Kevin J. McDevitt said the investigation continues.

Annapolis defense attorney Andrew Cochran, who was representing Draper, did not return calls seeking comment.

At the time of his arrest, Draper was described in court documents as working as a help desk manager for the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington. He worked for the Department of Natural Resources from December 1998 until April 2006 in the resource assessment division, according to Natural Resources Police spokesman Sgt. Ken Turner. State officials would not discuss why he left the agency, citing personnel confidentiality.

If convicted of the federal charges, Draper could face a maximum penalty of 20 years or a $250,000 fine for each of the five counts of receiving or distributing images, and 10 years or a $250,000 fine for possession. All the charges also carry the possibility of supervised release for life.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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