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Teenager held in sex case removed from home

February 05, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

One of four teenagers implicated in the May 1995 sexual assault on a young baby sitter in Smithsburg was removed from his home Wednesday by Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell.

The 17-year-old boy, who had remained at home on community detention since Dec. 11, will spend the next 60 days at the Charles H. Hickey Impact Unit in Baltimore.

The youth admitted his guilt to a fourth-degree sex offense.

Additional charges of attempted first-degree rape, assault with intent to rape, third-degree sex offenses, reckless endangerment, assault and battery were dropped in December in exchange for the plea.

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"The victim and her family want nothing to do with you," McDowell told the boy, who remained silent at Wednesday's hearing.

He ordered the boy to stay away from the girl, her family and their home when he is released. Probation and counseling were ordered.

Earlier in the hearing, the victim's mother tearfully asked the judge for the no-contact order.

"He was skateboarding in front of our home when we came home from the (Dec. 11) hearing," the mother said. "I don't want to see this child...make him stay away."

Defense attorney Steve Kessell said his client admits his participation that night, but he also recalls the victim invited the boys over.

"I also believe the victim has been trying to contact my client," Kessell said.

At that, the victim began crying in the back of the courtroom.

Assistant State's Attorney Susan Lockbaum objected, telling the judge that the victim isn't the one on trial.

The boy admitted in December he helped drag the girl by her ankles into a bedroom, held her arms at one point and removed her bra, according to police reports read in court.

Three more teens are slated for hearings on charges stemming from the events that night.

Two other teenagers, Dennis Robert Langenstein, now 19, and Jeffrey Gordon Snyder, now 18, both of Smithsburg, were charged as adults with attempted first-degree rape, assault with intent to rape, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses, reckless endangerment, assault and battery, according to Maryland State Police.

The fourth defendant, a 16-year-old boy, faces the same charges as a juvenile.

According to police reports, the victim, who was 16 in May 1995, was hired to baby-sit for a child at the home of one of the boys. She arrived in mid-afternoon for a barbecue at which the four boys were present, prosecutors said.

After midnight, the victim was forced into a bedroom and tied to a bed, police reports said.

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