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Sentencing on sex offender delayed

June 10, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A convicted sex offender was expected to find out on Monday in Washington County Circuit Court how long he would spend in state prison, but a required mental health assessment ordered more than two months ago had not been done.

The prosecution had recommended a 50-year sentence for 46-year-old Robert William Mulkern Jr. when he pleaded guilty in March to child pornography and child sex abuse charges for having sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl in 2009.

Judge Donald E. Beachley ordered a presentence investigation at that time, but Beachley said the mental health assessment he ordered had not been performed. He postponed sentencing until the assessment is completed.

“Somewhere along the line, the communications failed,” Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson said after the hearing.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is required to do the assessment in every case of sex abuse of a minor, Wilson said.

Originally, about 150 child pornography and child sex abuse charges were filed against Mulkern for having sex with the girl, and taking digital photos of her in sexual poses and engaged in sexual acts, court records said.

He made bond after initial charges were filed in 2010, but then failed to appear for trial.

Mulkern, who had been featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” was apprehended last fall in Vermont, where he was living under an assumed name. He was then returned to Maryland.

Mulkern met the girl in 2009 while renting a room in a house in the Hagerstown area. The girl was in foster care in the house at the same time, court records said.

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