Man pleads not guilty to federal charges


A Salisbury man convicted of child abuse twice in state courts has pleaded not guilty to federal child pornography charges relating to the alleged transportation of minors and pornographic materials across state lines.

Defendant George R. Bell, 40, entered the pleas Friday to Magistrate Judge Paul M. Rosenberg on a five-count indictment in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Bell is serving concurrent 18-month state sentences in the Wicomico County Detention Center for pornography-related child-abuse convictions last year in Wicomico and Montgomery counties.

The federal charges stem from evidence in the two county cases.

Prosecutor Gregory Welsh said he would seek detention without bail for Bell if the defendant is freed from the county jail before he stands trial in April on the federal charges.

The federal indictment was returned Aug. 21, but action was delayed pending completion of the state court cases, Welsh said.

Bell, a part-time photographer and former manager of a Delmar, Del., concrete construction firm, is under federal indictment on two counts of production of child pornography, two interstate transportation counts and one count of permitting a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the production of child pornography.

Police affidavits filed in the Wicomico and Montgomery County circuit courts allege that in the summer of 1989 Bell took nude photographs and made pornographic videotapes of several girls, all under age 10, on a camping trip in Gettysburg, Pa., and in his home while his wife and children were away.

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