A Frederick man was granted bail Thursday after he was charged earlier this week with sexually abusing a minor, according to court documents.
Miguel Eduardo Romero, 61, was taken into custody Wednesday when he was served with a warrant charging him with two counts each of sex abuse of a minor and third-degree sex offense and one count of sexual abuse of a minor by continued course of conduct, according to court records. The arrest stems from an investigation that began in late January when a Frederick County sheriff’s deputy was contacted by a Department of Social Services employee who had just learned about a 14-year-old girl who had told a relative that she had been sexually abused from the age of 9 until she entered middle school, according to the documents.
The girl was interviewed while a sheriff’s office detective watched and disclosed that Romero had touched her private parts and coerced her into having sex with him as many as 10 times, though the girl said she remembered details about only two of the incidents, the documents state.
Romero denied all of the accusations when police first met with him Feb. 12 at his and his wife’s home on Black Spruce Lane, but later admitted to several incidents when he arrived at the Frederick County Law Enforcement Center on Feb. 18 to take a polygraph exam, according to the documents. When asked about the admissions, Romero told detectives that he hadn’t wanted to admit anything in front of his wife.
Romero continued to deny ever having intercourse with the girl and said he touched her inappropriately on five different occasions, according to a deputy’s report of the interview that followed Romero’s admission.
Assistant State’s Attorney Lindsay Carpenter relied on Romero’s admissions in arguing in favor of withholding bail from Romero in a hearing before Judge Eric Schaffer on Thursday in District Court, saying his statements prove Romero is sexually aroused by children.
“The defendant specifically stated that the reason he stopped touching [the girl] was because she was beginning to look like a woman and grow breasts,” Carpenter told Schaffer at one point in the hearing.
District Public Defender Mary Riley, however, argued in favor of granting Romero bond on the condition that he post no more than $10,000 bail and agreed to have no contact with the girl or her family, pointing out that the last incident of abuse was alleged to have happened about three years ago and that Romero has strong ties to Maryland.
Schaffer sided with Riley, agreeing to grant Romero’s release if he is able to post $10,000 bail.