Case of man charged with child porn placed on inactive docket

Convicted sex offender Brian Keith Netzer was indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 18

August 31, 2011|By DON AINES |

The Washington County case of a convicted sex offender charged with 15 counts of possession of child pornography has been placed on the inactive docket after he was indicted last month on federal child pornography charges.

Brian Keith Netzer, 44, of 100 N. Potomac St., was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Wednesday in county District Court, but the charges were placed on the inactive docket, Assistant State's Attorney Leon Debes said.

Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said Netzer was indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 18.

Netzer is being held without bond in the Washington County Detention Center, an officer at the center said.

Netzer becomes at least the third Washington County man indicted on federal child pornography charges in recent months.

Thomas Leroy Griffin of Hagerstown was also indicted in August on charges of making and possessing child pornography.

Kenneth Norris of Clear Spring was indicted and convicted in July of sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography. Norris was scheduled to be sentenced to 15 years in prison, the minimum mandatory sentence, in October.

Despite the three indictments, Wilson said the cases are not related. Several recent cases in the county have one thing in common in that the pornography was allegedly received or transferred by the Internet, he said.

"I think it's better detection rather than more people doing it," Wilson said of possessing child pornography.

Netzer had been charged by Washington County authorities in May after Maryland State Police received tips through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of e-mails embedded with images of child pornography being sent from one e-mail address to Netzer's, according to the application for statement of charges.

Computers were seized from the residence of a relative in Hagerstown, and an examination of the contents turned up 368 images of suspected child pornography and 39 videos, the charging documents said.

In 2005 Netzer was convicted of a second-degree sex offense and sentenced to 14 years in prison with 10 years suspended, according to Washington County Circuit Court records. Other charges, including sex abuse of a minor, were dismissed, and he was required to register as a sex offender, court records said.

A second-degree sex offense can involve a victim who is mentally defective, under the age of 13, or under the age of 14 if the offender is more than four years older, under Maryland criminal law.

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