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Sentencing postponed in child porn case of Parkville dentist from Carroll County

The sentencing of a New Windsor man and former family dentist who pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge was postponed after a Carroll County judge said Tuesday she needed more time to make a decision.

Adam V. Slatniske, 28, previously of Sykesville, entered a guilty plea June 15 for one count of promoting/distributing child pornography, as part of an agreement with the state. He was arrested by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and was accused of possessing and sharing multiple images of child pornography through an online social network and accessing the site while working as a dentist in Parkville, where he is no longer employed.

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The child pornography files police found linked to the social media account included videos depicting female children, including a 12-year-old, charging documents state.

Adam V. Slatniske - Original Credit: Carroll County Sheriff's Office
Adam V. Slatniske - Original Credit: Carroll County Sheriff's Office (Carroll County Sheriffs Office / HANDOUT)

Police said Slatniske was “hesitant” to identify the age of a child in one of the images, but “admitted to having knowledge of children’s approximate age due to working with children and his education,” the documents read. Slatniske said he had seen children ranging from 11 to 14 years old and it was “possible” he’d seen 9- to 10-year-olds, according to the statement of charges.

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Slatniske was released on home detention after his arrest. Appearing in court Tuesday, he delivered a statement apologizing to the victims depicted in the pornography and expressed hope that he can start his life anew.

“I never intended to hurt you,” he said. “I feel terrible.”

The state, represented by Deputy State’s Attorney Edward Coyne, requested a sentence of five years, suspending all but one year on home detention, in addition to registering Slatniske as a tier II sex offender. Tier II sex offenders register for 25 years, according to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Tier III carries a lifetime registration, whereas Tier I lasts 15 years.

“Actions have consequences,” Coyne said. “He knew what he was doing.”

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Coyne argued the sex offender registration would be beneficial as it would restrict Slatniske’s interactions with others and would require therapy. Although Slatniske has been compliant since his arrest and sought treatment, Coyne said nearly a year under the court’s scrutiny is not enough time to ensure the defendant won’t offend again. Slatniske’s defense attorney, Tom Maronick Jr., countered that the judge could impose such restrictions without the sex offender registration.

Judge Maria L. Oesterreicher listened to presentations from Coyne and Maronick; the latter requested a sentence of probation before judgment — meaning Slatniske would be placed on probation and not be considered convicted. Maronick opposed registering Slatniske as a sex offender and suggested it would diminish his ability to move forward and find work in his chosen field. He said a report from a doctor working with Slatniske to overcome his “addiction issues” relating to the pornography shows his risk of recidivism is extremely low.

The defense submitted about seven letters from Slatniske’s friends and family supporting his character, as well as papers documenting his treatment. A family friend and Slatniske’s mother spoke in court, detailing his life leading up to the arrest, describing him as a person who volunteered in the community and committed himself to education to fulfill his career goals. Other than this case, Slatniske has no criminal charges in Maryland, according to online court records.

While the judge said she does not doubt the sincerity of the statements, “The character of a person is who you are when nobody is looking,” Oesterreicher said.

She asked the attorneys whether she would have the legal authority to order Slatniske to register as a Tier I sex offender, a shorter time span than Tier II. The attorneys did not have a definitive answer.

With time to complete the hearing running short — Maronick had business in Annapolis — Oesterreicher arranged for the hearing to continue Sept. 23, at 1:30 p.m.

“I’m not ready to decide and I don’t want to make a wrong decision,” Oesterreicher said, calling this a more “out of the ordinary” case than she has experienced.

Oesterreicher said she must decide what’s right for the victims and consider Slatniske’s ability to move forward after serving his sentence.

“I respect the court taking the time,” Maronick said after the hearing.

Coyne did not offer specific comment.

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