WESTMINSTER — A 21-year-old former city man was sentenced to serve six years in prison yesterday for performing sexual acts with a 6-year-old girl.

Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. sentenced Richard Allen Petryto 13 years in prison, but suspended all but six years. When he is released from jail, Petry will be on five years of supervised probation, the judge ordered.


Petry was convicted in September of committing a second-degree sex offense against a girl he was baby-sitting in March.

Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill said Petry lived with the girl's regular baby-sitter and was forced to watch the girl when the woman was calledinto work unexpectedly.


Hill told Burns that pre-sentence investigators found that Petry was charged in other sexual assaults but never prosecuted.

During the sentencing hearing, Petry told Burns thathe wasn't the aggressor in the sexual acts.


WESTMINSTER -- A city man was given a three-year prison term yesterday for physically abusing his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter.

Joseph D. Austin, formerly of Sullivan Avenue, was given the three-year term with 10 years suspended by Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr.

According to a statement of facts in the case read by AssistantState's Attorney Kathi Hill, Austin twisted the child's arm, causingit to fracture, in January.

Hill said Austin was caring for the child because her mother had to go to court.

Her mother was incarcerated after her court appearance and called a neighbor to check on her daughter.


When the neighbor arrived at the home, she found the girl alone with a swollen arm and a cut on her head, Hill said.

Thegirl was taken to Carroll County General Hospital, where officials determined her injuries were not the result of a fall.

Hill said Austin left that day for Philadelphia, where he was later arrested and brought back to Maryland to face the charges.

In spite of his conviction in the case, Austin continued to maintain his innocence in thecase.

"I just wanted you to know I am not a guilty person in thiscase," Austin told the judge.



Crime Solvers, a volunteer group that assists area police, is asking residents to help solve the Crime of the Week.

This week, the group is targeting the destruction of a soccer goal in the Hilltop housing development.

Police said that on Nov. 15, vandals entered a common area at Orchid Street and Gardenia Lane and knocked over the goal.

Damage is estimated at $800, police said.

The destruction is the latest in a series of acts of vandalism at the development.

The Hilltop Homeowners Association is offering a $250 reward for information leading tothe arrest or indictment of the vandals.


If you have any information about this crime, or believe you may know who is involved, pleasecall Crime Solvers at 848-0999.

Callers can remain anonymous.


Here is a compilation of the fire and rescue calls to the Emergency Operations Center:

Dec. 2

6:19 a.m., Sykesville and Gamber responded to a fire alarm sounding on Bartholow Road.


4:34 p.m., Sykesville responded to an automobile fire on Snowdon's Creek Road.

Dec. 3

2:51 a.m., Westminster, Pleasant Valley, Reese and Reisterstown responded to smoke in an apartment on East Main Street in Westminster.

1:19 p.m., Pleasant Valley, Manchester, Pleasant Hill, Pa., and Littlestown, Pa., responded to a chimney fire on West Deep Run Road.