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Man sentenced to four years in sex case

February 15, 2001

Man sentenced to four years in sex case



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


A former correctional officer and fire policeman was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday after he pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to one count of solicitation for child pornography.

Warren Van Conway, 62, formerly of the 200 block of East Poplar Street in Funkstown, was given the maximum 10-year penalty by Judge Frederick Wright, who then suspended six years.

Conway befriended a family during the summer of 2000 and on Aug. 13, he invited the 16-year-old son to swim at a Hagerstown hotel where he had rented a room.

"The boy met a girl while swimming and Conway invited them both to his room," said Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Arthur Rozes.

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Once in the room, Conway tried to get the boy and girl to perform sexual acts while he took photographs of them, Rozes said.

The boy refused and called his mother who told him to come right home.

While a police investigator was at the teenager's home investigating that complaint, Conway contacted the boy by computer, court records said.

During a conversation on the Internet, a pornographic picture of the girl was e-mailed to the boy, court records said.

Conway was arrested at his place of employment and taken to his home, where investigators executed a search warrant.

Troopers from the computer crimes unit and Hagerstown barrack recovered a computer, floppy disks, diaries, printed photos of adult and child pornography, videotapes and other materials, court records said.

Conway, who retired from the military and worked for the Division of Correction for 10 years, most recently had worked at the Cigar Locker at 1740 Dual Highway.

A member of the Mount Aetna Fire Department, Conway had been a fire police officer for more than 10 years.

Authorities confiscated his fire police badge upon his arrest and he was suspended from duty.

"I stand before you ashamed," Conway told Wright. "It was a total lack of thinking. He is a nice young man and I deeply regret it."

Defense attorney Carl Creeden stressed that there was no physical contact between Conway and the boy.

Wright ordered five years of probation when Conway is released from prison. The judge also required him to register as a sex offender.

Charges of possession of pornography, distribution of child pornography and contributing to the delinquency of a minor were dropped in exchange for the plea Thursday.

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