Man charged with sexual offenses accuser was under his care as a child

The Child Abuse Unit of the Maryland State Police has arrested a Westminster man and charged him with sex offenses and child abuse, state police said yesterday.

The suspect was identified as Joseph Bahner, 47, of the 2600 block of Neudecker Road. He was arrested Friday, police said.


Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill said yesterday that Mr. Bahner was indicted in November on 13 counts of second- and third-degree sexual offenses and child abuse in connection with incidents that allegedly occurred from 1978 to 1984. The offenses all are felonies.

Neither Mr. Bahner nor his lawyer could be reached for comment on the charges last night.


The alleged incidents involved a girl who had been entrusted to Mr. Bahner's care, state police said.

Now a college junior, she came forward as an adult to make her complaint.

In Maryland, there is no statute of limitations on felonies, Ms. Hill said.

Ms. Hill said a charge of second-degree sexual offense involves a sexual act. A third-degree sexual offense charge involves sexual touching or fondling.

Police said an investigation into Mr. Bahner's relationship with present and past members of a Boy Scout troop he had led uncovered no improprieties.

Mr. Bahner was held at the Carroll County Detention center over the weekend. Bail was set yesterday at $15,000. The suspect was released at 4:15 p.m. yesterday, said Sgt. Mike Stonesifer.

Ms. Hill said Mr. Bahner had no known convictions for other offenses, and there were no other alleged victims "that we know of."