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Howard County gymnastics coach facing child pornography charges

A gymnastics coach based in Columbia was arrested Wednesday and charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, Baltimore County police said.

Paul Daniel Bollinger, 56, a coach at Top Flight Gymnastics in Columbia, was arrested at his home in the 7600 block of Gladstone Road in Windsor Mill, where police served a warrant and found more than 30,000 images and videos of child pornography on a computer and other devices, officials said.

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Police said they found no evidence that the gymnastics coach of 25 years had produced any of the pornography. An investigation indicated that Bollinger is sexually attracted to children and writes stories about having sex with children, police said.

Bollinger worked at Top Flight since 1990 and was an active employee when he was arrested. Officials were "shocked" to hear the allegations, said Charles Fuller, an attorney for the gymnastics center.

"Top Flight is concerned about the safety and security of all its students and parents," Fuller said. "This was a complete surprise to us because there was nothing he'd ever done that would lead us to think otherwise."

Fuller said Top Flight notified parents about the charges and encouraged anyone who suspects Bollinger of having inappropriate contact with a child to call police.

He is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $2.5 million bail. No one answered at a number listed for Bollinger's home. The case was not listed in Maryland's online court records.

The case began earlier this month and was handled by the Baltimore County Crimes against Children Unit. The unit is part of a statewide task force of the same name, which focuses on protecting children from computer-facilitated sexual exploitation.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call police at 410-307-2020.

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