Former coach who pleaded guilty in child porn case gets 6 1/2 years

The Baltimore Sun

A former Baltimore County gymnastics coach who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison yesterday in a case prosecutors have called one of Maryland's largest because of the volume of materials possessed by the defendant.

Patrick David Bogan will also be required to be on supervised probation upon his release and to register as a sex offender. He will be prohibited from seeking employment that puts him in regular contact with children younger than 18.

U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson denied a request by prosecutors to require Bogan to be on supervised release for life.

"There has been no attempt to produce or to sell child pornography, or any attempt to arrange a meeting or engage in a sex act with a minor," Nickerson said. He said he was struck by the positive letters he received from parents of young children entrusted to Bogan's care. "Even parents of young children entrusted in his care were in favor of a lenient sentence," the judge said.

Bogan, an Edgewood resident, was a coach for 11 years at Baltimore County Gymnastics, working with children ages 5 to 15. The center has more than 700 children on recreational and competitive teams that practice in a 12,000-square-foot facility on Allender Road in White Marsh.

Federal agents who tapped into an online message board identified computers downloading child pornography in 2006. In March 2007, after identifying Bogan as one of the suspects, agents searched his home and recovered five cabinets containing videotapes of child pornography and a separate storage unit filled with magazines, books and newspaper articles about pedophilia and child abduction.

Bogan's computer hard drive revealed an extensive alphabetically and numerically organized collection of folders full of child pornography, including depictions of sexually explicit conduct with prepubescent females.

Bogan, 41, who lives with his 73-year-old mother, expressed remorse for his actions and for the pain he had caused family, friends and neighbors.

"I am very deeply sorry," he said. "I've been doing a community-based therapy program, that I would definitely like to complete."

The Bogan investigation was part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation. The initiative uses federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute people for online child exploitation.

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