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Two men charged with abusing boys in same home on different days

A second person has been arrested for allegedly abusing children at the same Aberdeen home where they were being cared for while their parents were at work.

Christopher Brown, 21, of the 700 block of Custis Street in Aberdeen, was charged March 22 with allegedly hitting two boys with a belt on March 12 at a home in the 300 block of Center Deen Avenue.

On March 17, Wayne Harvey, 46, of the 100 block of North Philadelphia Boulevard, was charged with sexually abusing a boy in the same house.

Neither of the men charged live at the Center Deen address.

In the Harvey case, charging documents say Harvey entered the house where Michael Poppitti and Megan Fisher were providing child care for a boy while his parents were at work.

In the Brown case, Brown is listed as a child care provider for the two boys he allegedly hit, ages 8 and 6; Poppitti and Fisher were in the house when the alleged abuse occurred, according to court documents.

Brown was not charged earlier because he had not been positively identified, Budnick said. Also, because he was not a resident of the home, it was less urgent that he be arrested, Budnick said.

The person making the complaints in both cases is the same woman, the boys' mother.

It's unclear who is responsible for child care in the home, but Aberdeen Police Lt. Fred Budnick said it is not licensed and is more like a private baby sitter situation, "just people coming in sporadically."

"It's not a regulated day care," Budnick said Wednesday.

The children were removed after the second incident of alleged abuse.

In the earlier case, the mother of the 6- and 8-year-old told police her sons were assaulted March 12 by their "day care provider," Brown, who allegedly hit them both with a belt, according to a statement of charges. She was unaware of the alleged abuse until March 13, and she took pictures of the marks and bruises on her children.

When questioned, Poppitti said he was in the house when the boys were allegedly beaten. He said he was downstairs and heard yelling upstairs, but he did not know what was going on, according to the court documents. His girlfriend, Fisher, was also in the house and told police the same thing.

Brown is charged with two counts each of second-degree child abuse by a custodian, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. He is being held at the Harford County Detention Center on $50,000 bail.

On March 17, one of the woman's boys (it's unclear if it was the 6- or 8-year-old or if she has another son) was allegedly sexually abused by a man, identified as Harvey, whom Poppitti and Fisher allowed in their home.

The boy told police Harvey allegedly touched him sexually while they were on the couch watching TV. When the boy tried to get up, Harvey allegedly held him down and demanded sex, according to the statement of charges.

Poppitti and Fisher told police they heard the boy crying and walked in to find Harvey holding the child and demanding he have sex, court records indicate.

Police said Harvey appeared to be intoxicated and smelled strongly of alcohol.

Harvey, who is being held without bail at the detention center, is charged with sex abuse of a minor, third- and fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault. He has nine arrests on child abuse counts, as well as a conviction in Delaware, a prosecutor said at his bail review hearing.

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