Anthony Cottle

Baltimore County firefighter Anthony Maurice Cottle, 24, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for sexually abusing two boys. (Baltimore County Police Department photo / October 1, 2012)

A 23-year-old Baltimore County firefighter has been arrested in connection with the sexual abuse of two 14-year-old boys, and police believe there are more victims who have yet to be identified.

Anthony Maurice Cottle, of the first block of Stonemark Court in Owings Mills, allegedly abused the two boys between May 1 and June 1 while living with one of the boy's families in the Halethorpe area, police said.

One of the victims contacted police last week to report the alleged abuse, which he said occurred when Cottle was living with his family, police said. The boy also told police he witnessed Cottle abuse one of his friends in the home, police said.

An investigation confirmed the boy's account, police said.

Cottle is a probationary firefighter with the Baltimore County Fire Department and an active volunteer with the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department, police said. He has been suspended from both positions pending the conclusion of the criminal case against him, police said. His suspension from the county department, where he has been employed since December 2011, is without pay, police said.

Cottle has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor, fourth-degree sex offense, second-degree assault, third-degree sex offense and sodomy.

Anyone with information on Cottle or other possible victims is asked to call the Crimes Against Children Unit at 410-853-3650, or after hours at 410-307-2020.

krector@baltsun.com

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