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By Dan Rodricks, The Baltimore Sun | July 31, 2010
Had he known that prosecutors were willing to offer him 10 years in prison in return for a guilty plea, convicted rapist and child abuser John Merzbacher would have accepted the deal "most graciously" instead of standing trial and getting the multiple life terms he has been serving since 1995. That's what Merzbacher claimed a few years ago during a post-conviction hearing in Baltimore to determine whether his defense attorneys had told him about the plea deal. That deal — and a federal judge's conclusion that Merzbacher's lawyers erred in keeping it from him — is central to the latest chapter in one of Maryland's highest-profile child sex abuse cases, involving dozens of victims, male and female, who were students of Merzbacher's at Catholic middle school in the 1970s.
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SPORTS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | June 25, 2014
A freshman Maryland men's lacrosse player was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a sleeping woman at a Zac Brown Band concert in Virginia on Sunday, police said. Benjamin Chisolm, 19, of Davidsonville, is accused of molesting a 49-year-old woman who had fallen asleep in the lawn area during the concert at Jiffy Lube Live pavilion in Bristow, Va. The woman told police she awoke around 8:30 p.m. to find an unknown man, later identified as Chisolm, lying beside her and touching her inappropriately.
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NEWS
December 15, 2005
A convicted child molester who was charged with trespassing at Roland Park Elementary-Middle School has been imprisoned by a Baltimore Circuit Court judge for failing to abide by the terms of his probation, a spokeswoman for the city prosecutor's office said yesterday. Judge Joseph P. McCurdy ordered Kenneth Earl Barnes, 43, to serve two years and seven months in prison - time that had been suspended from a previous conviction for failing to register as a sex offender, said the spokeswoman, Margaret T. Burns.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2013
The city's spending panel is set to approve Wednesday a $50,000 settlement to the family of a girl who was allegedly molested by a mentor she met at her Baltimore middle school. Criminal charges remain pending against Charles D. Shelly, 46, of the 3500 block of Cliftmont Ave., who is accused of sexual abuse of a minor and related counts. But the settlement, which is expected to be approved by the Board of Estimates, would resolve a $100,000 lawsuit filed against the city school system by the student's family.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | August 12, 1993
SONORA, Calif. -- Ellie Nesler, a 40-year-old single mother who gunned down her son's alleged molester in a central California courtroom last April, has been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.Prosecutors had argued for a first-degree murder conviction while Nesler's defense team had pressed for acquittal before yesterday's verdict was returned.Nesler now faces a second phase of the trial to determine whether she was temporarily insane when she pumped five bullets into the head of her son's alleged molester, Daniel Driver, 35. What the jury decides about her state of mind at the time of the shooting will determine whether she serves up to 11 years in prison or a minimum of six months in a mental facility.
NEWS
By Jane Meredith Adams and Jane Meredith Adams,Contributing writer | April 7, 1993
SONORA, Calif. -- Mass support for the vigilante killing of an accused child molester has gripped this tiny town in the Sierra foothills, leading legal observers to question whether the woman charged with the crime could ever be impartially tried here.Ellena S. Nesler, 40, has been charged with murder. She allegedly walked up to Daniel Driver in a courtroom Friday and shot him point-blank in the back of his head with a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol.Mr. Driver, 35, was sitting during a break in a preliminary hearing in nearby Jamestown.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer | May 18, 1994
A 36-year-old Hampstead man, who said he was sexually abused as a child, was sentenced to 12 years in state prison after he pleaded guilty yesterday to molesting his 8-year-old stepdaughter and two of his nieces.Saying he understood what he had done to his wife's daughter because he was molested by foster parents for more than a decade, the man stood before Carroll Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold and apologized."She's going through hell right now," the man said of his stepdaughter. "I know.
NEWS
By Joan Jacobson and Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF | March 7, 1997
Parkville Middle School's production of the musical "Annie" will go on as planned this weekend without its volunteer lighting designer -- a convicted child molester who is awaiting sentencing in Baltimore County Circuit Court.Principal Stephen A. Edgar said yesterday he has reversed his decision that allowed Charles William Danforth III to be in the school to set the lights in recent weeks, calling it "the worst mistake I ever made."The lighting will be handled by teachers and parents, Edgar said.
NEWS
By Lan Nguyen and Lan Nguyen,Staff Writer | July 23, 1992
A convicted child molester accused of sexually abusing three young athletes he coached in Columbia kept out of the law's grasp for two years by refusing treatment and by lying to his probation officers, court records show.Probation officials apparently tolerated some of the violations, and when they did try to crack down, a court clerk's error left Tracy Kevin Ward free to pursue his avocation as a youth-league coach.Mothers of three players who are accusing him of sexual molestation are outraged that the court system allowed Ward to remain free despite numerous apparent probation violations.
NEWS
By Scott Higham and Scott Higham,SUN STAFF | October 18, 1997
A pedophile who molested two Baltimore County brothers before they took their lives in separate suicides pleaded guilty yesterday to violating his probation because he stalked one of the brothers for years after a 1990 sex abuse conviction.Dressed in tan prison clothes and shackled in chains, Peter Dudley Albertsen II admitted that he violated his probation by secretly following Justin Wilke and sending him love letters and a videotape of child pornography while he was under a court order to keep away.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2013
Federal agents and local law enforcement agencies in Maryland and across the country have arrested more than 250 men and a handful of women in a month-long operation targeting "child predators" who are part of a "disturbing trend" of adults connecting with children online and then abusing them, federal officials announced Monday. Five of those arrested were from Maryland, including Christopher Barnes, 53, who law enforcement officials said lives in Anne Arundel County and was arrested in Rockville on June 20 after allegedly arranging to meet who he believed was a 13-year-old girl for sex. State court records give Barnes' address as being in the 2400 block of Boston Street in Baltimore.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | February 22, 2013
An official at the U.S. embassy in Kuala Lumpur has been accused of sexual molestation of his adopted daughter in a Baltimore hotel room while she was here for medical treatment, according to State Department investigators. A federal grand jury indicted the man Wednesday on a single charge of traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The alleged victim was also his biological niece, the investigators wrote in an affidavit in the case. The Baltimore Sun does not name the victims of alleged sex crimes, and is omitting the father's name in order to avoid identifying the girl.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | December 6, 2012
An aide at the Maryland School for the Deaf was charged Thursday with molesting three girls when they were students at the school between 2008 and 2010, Howard County police said. One of the three girls – now ages 15 and 16 and no longer at the Columbia school – recently reported her allegation to a teacher, after learning that she might not have been the only student repeatedly inappropriately touched, police said. That led to the investigation, and detectives are exploring the possibility that there may be more victims, according to police.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2012
A 65-year-old Linthicum man who molested a 9-year-old girl and exchanged more than 200 text messages with an undercover detective pretending to be her pleaded guilty Thursday to using a cell phone to coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein's office. David Mitchell Rowe admitted to police that he had molested the girl and other young girls in past years, and that he is attracted to minors, the prosecutor's office said.
FEATURES
Susan Reimer | November 8, 2011
Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, your college football loyalties were to one of two schools. Pitt. Or Penn State. The two schools could not be more different. The University of Pittsburgh is an urban campus, located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, its buildings blackened with the soot from the steel mills on the river. Penn State is located in the rolling hills of Central Pennsylvania and had its own dairy farm, for heaven's sake, and students lived on the ice cream made from the milk of its cows.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2011
The University of Maryland College Park campus police are investigating an assault on a female student while she was sleeping in her residence at Leonardtown Apartments. The woman awoke at about 3:30 a.m. Sept. 9 to find an unknown man in her bed and fondling her breasts and torso, police said. She screamed and he fled the apartment. The victim glimpsed the assailant through her window and described him as curly headed and wearing a striped shirt, police said. Police have released a video that shows a person of interest running from the area of the incident.
NEWS
By Michael James and Michael James,Staff Writer | July 16, 1993
His death in a fiery collision this month on an Ohio highway was an apocalyptic end for Kyle Winston Sherrill, his life wracked by a silent torment that turned a college graduate with an IQ of 134 into a pedophile who roamed the country looking for children to rape.Sherrill, 54, spent 21 years in Maryland prisons for child sex offenses. But since being released from prison two years ago, he had tried to live the straight life, keeping his past as a serial child molester a deep secret.He joined and made friends in the Maryland chapter of Mensa, the society for the super-intelligent.
NEWS
By BRENT JONES and BRENT JONES,SUN REPORTER | August 8, 2006
A few minutes into her eulogy celebrating the life of 11-year-old Irvin J. Harris yesterday, Phyllis Mickle asked the mourners to blow kisses in the direction of the boy's mother. Many of the nearly 500 people at March Funeral Home in East Baltimore did as Mickle requested, putting hands to mouths and extending them in the direction of Shanda Raynette Harris. Harris nodded her head in acknowledgement, then returned the gesture. Nine days ago, Irvin was found stabbed to death. "We love her. Look around this room, it's standing room only," said Mickle, an elder at the Kingdom Worship Center.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | January 28, 2011
A divided state Court of Appeals erased the molestation conviction of a minister this week, ruling that an Anne Arundel County police detective wrongly lured Enoch Jermaine Hill into writing an apology to the boy who accused him. In a 4-3 ruling, the majority said that Detective Patrick McLaughlin went too far when he told the pastor that the family wanted an apology and, in the same breath, said they were not interested in a trial. From that, Hill could reasonably believe that making a statement that included an apology to the child who accused him would result in no charges "or at the least, lessen the likelihood of a successful criminal prosecution," Judge Mary Ellen Barbera wrote for the majority.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | November 29, 2010
A 63-year-old former classroom aide was sentenced Monday to 18 months in jail and is expected to receive a similar sentence later this week for molesting two girls in his Crofton neighborhood — a sentence crafted to keep John Riva, who has no previous criminal record, out of state prison. "I am aware of the implication of sending a 63-year-old man to the Division of Correction," Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul A. Hackner told Riva. He said that although he wanted to punish Riva, "it is not my intention to sentence you to death.
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