Howard County Gymnastics Coach Charged in Federal Court with Possessing and Distributing Child Pornography
Baltimore, Maryland – Howard County gymnastics coach Paul Daniel Bollinger, age 56, of Windsor Mill, Maryland was charged by federal complaint today with possessing and distributing child pornography.
The complaint was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
According to the affidavit supporting the complaint, on May 15, 2016, an undercover Baltimore County Police detective downloaded from the internet at least 10 movie files from Bollinger’s IP address that contained child pornography.
On May 25, 2016, investigators executed a state search warrant at Bollinger’s residence and seized a desktop computer, hard drives and other digital media which contained at least 47,130 images and videos of child pornography, child modeling and child erotica. Next to Bollinger’s bed, detectives found over 100 pages of handwritten stories about “P” having sex with young children.
Bollinger was present during the execution of the search warrant and advised that he is a youth gymnastics coach and for over 30 years has coached hundreds of children. Throughout the residence were pictures of young girls in gymnastics leotards.
Bollinger faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for possessing child pornography; and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for distributing child pornography. An initial appearance is scheduled for today at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
A complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore County Police Department, HISI Baltimore and Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Maddox, who is prosecuting the federal case.