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Hagerstown man to be prosecuted for federal child-porn charges

State charges against Robert P. Hade to be placed on inactive docket

December 22, 2010|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown man facing state charges of sexually assaulting a girl will instead be prosecuted on related federal child-pornography charges.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office in May charged Robert P. Hade, 42, who formerly lived off Robinwood Drive, with second- and third-degree sex offenses, sex abuse of a minor, second-degree assault, and sex abuse of a minor as a continuing course of conduct.

In October, Hade was indicted on an additional count of sex abuse of a minor, as well as on a charge of manufacturing child pornography, according to court documents.

On Wednesday Hade was in Washington County Circuit Court, where Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Brett Wilson asked that the county cases be placed on the inactive docket because Hade was indicted last week on two federal counts of manufacturing child pornography.

"The case involves child pornography, which the federal government has an interest in prosecuting," Wilson told Circuit Judge Daniel P. Dwyer. However, the federal government likely would not prosecute if the state went ahead with its charges first, he said.

Hade agreed to have his state charges placed on the inactive docket and to waive his right to a speedy trial.

Hade could face a minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted on a federal child-pornography charge, Wilson said. A federal prosecution would spread the burden on taxpayers across the country rather than just on Maryland residents, he said.

In May the sheriff's office investigated a complaint from a woman who alleged that her daughter, now a teenager, had been molested by Hade when the girl was about 8 years old, according to the statement of probable cause.

The girl told investigators that Hade had touched her inappropriately, photographed and videotaped her in the nude, bought her a sex toy and once engaged in oral sex with her, the charging documents said.

Investigators found a video tape and other evidence corroborating the girl's statements when they searched Hade's house in May, the documents said.

Federal investigators conducted a forensic search of Hade's computer and found additional evidence of child pornography, Wilson alleged after Hade's hearing.

Hade, who had been held at the Washington County Detention Center since May, is to be transferred to federal custody, Wilson said.

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