Howard County Youth Gymnastics Coach Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Distribution of Child Pornography
Baltimore, Maryland – Howard County youth gymnastics coach Paul Daniel Bollinger, age 57, of Windsor Mill, Maryland pleaded guilty today to distribution of child pornography. Bollinger worked as a youth gymnastics coach in Maryland for over 30 years prior to his arrest in this case.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson 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 his plea agreement, on May 15, 2016, Bollinger distributed computer files containing videos of child pornography using a file sharing program. An undercover Baltimore County Police detective downloaded at least 10 movie files containing child pornography that Bollinger distributed.
On May 25, 2016, investigators executed a state search warrant at Bollinger’s residence. During the search, investigators found a desktop computer powered on and running peer-to-peer file sharing software, and numerous files with titles indicative of child pornography were being shared and downloaded through use of the software. The wallpaper image on the computer monitor depicted a naked female child lying on her stomach. Law enforcement seized the desktop computer, hard drives and other digital media which contained over 40,000 image files and over 100 video files of child pornography. Next to Bollinger’s bed, detectives found over 100 pages of handwritten stories about an adult male having sex with young children.
According to his plea agreement, Bollinger was present during the execution of the search warrant and spoke with law enforcement. He characterized his involvement with child pornography as an obsession and stated that he had been viewing child pornography since approximately 1990. Bollinger advised that he prefers female children aged 8 to 12 years, the same age group of girls that he currently coached, but denied any inappropriate contact with children. Bollinger stated that he had sexual thoughts about a girl he coached in gymnastics and that he was attracted to the “body type” of many of the girls he coached.
Bollinger faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for distributing child pornography. U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis has scheduled sentencing for Bollinger on March 3, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. Bollinger remains detained.
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, HSI 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.