A 47-year-old man who admitted to state police that he had sexually abused his 10-year-old daughter pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse yesterday in Carroll Circuit Court.
In exchange for the man's guilty plea, prosecutors dropped five other charges and agreed to recommend a prison sentence of no more than four years.
The abuse lasted for almost a year, according to a statement read to Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. by Eileen McInerney, an assistant state's attorney.
"The girl would have testified that the abuse happened approximately 15 times," Ms. McInerney told the judge. "But [her father] told her not to tell or he would go to jail."
The plea agreement apparently was reached after the man's lawyer failed last fall to win suppression of a confession made to police last May.
As the defendant was questioned by two state troopers and a Department of Social Services child abuse investigator last May, the man, formerly of Sykesville, volunteered that he "wanted to tell what had been going on . . . for the past 10 months to a year," Ms. McInerney said. "He said there was sexual contact."
According to court records, the man forced his daughter to perform a sex act in his bedroom on several occasions while his wife was at church.
The man also fondled his daughter and once attempted to have intercourse with her while she was taking a bath, court records show.
The man made two confessions the same day, according to testimony in the man's evidence suppression hearing. One was to state police Sgt. P. Jeff Merson and Tfc. Robert Lipsky. During that statement, the man was not advised of his constitutional rights.
About 20 minutes later, police read the man his rights and he agreed to make a tape-recorded statement.
The man, whose name is being withheld to protect his daughter's privacy, was arrested May 22, four days after his statements to police. He was charged with two counts of child abuse, attempted second-degree rape, two counts of third-degree sexual offense and battery.
The man, who has other children, now lives in Baltimore County.
Judge Beck scheduled sentencing for Feb. 22.