Officer Charles McMichael accused molesting 10-yr-old girls

Officer Charles McMichael accused molesting 10-yr-old girls

Postby KC » 01 Dec 2007, Sat 6:44 pm

Deputy Charles McMichael

PITTSVILLE -- Maryland State Police arrested a Wicomico County Sheriff's Office deputy Friday accused of sexually molesting two 10-year-old girls, Sheriff Mike Lewis said.

Deputy 1st Class Charles McMichael, 35, of Salis-bury, was waiting to pick up his child outside Pittsville Elementary and Middle School Friday afternoon when police seized him, Lewis said.

"We are terribly disappointed and are shocked and certainly saddened when it involves one of our own," said Lewis of the 15-month deputy of the agency.

McMichael, who faces charges of child abuse and sex offenses, has been suspended without pay, Lewis said.

The Pittsville school was also in the news Friday following the arrest this week of a Salisbury University student interning there as a teaching assistant.

Jenna Herrmann, 23, of Salisbury is accused of having sexual relations with one of the school's 14-year-old students.

McMichael is the second area officer to be accused of sex-related offenses in six months. Former Salisbury Police Department patrolman Tracy Ross Sparpaglione, 27, faces four felony charges including second-degree rape and first-degree burglary. The charges stem from an incident while on duty during Memorial Day weekend.

Allegations against McMichael first surfaced 11 p.m. Thursday, Lewis said. His agency contacted the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, which partnered with the Child Advocacy Center in Wicomico County.

In less than 24 hours, "clearly sufficient evidence" emerged to charge McMichael, said Lewis, declining to comment about the evidence.

McMichael is also a Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 111 spokesman. He had participated in on-going negotiations with the Wicomico County Council and deputies about a future collective bargaining agreement.

As of 6 p.m. Friday, McMichael was being transported to the District Court Commissioner to have his bail, now undetermined, set, Lewis said.

"We moved swiftly on this as soon as the information came to our attention," Lewis said. "We did what we had to do."

The Sheriff's Office will now begin its own internal investigation of McMichael, as the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office mounts its criminal case.

The investigation would be the third known internal query in three months for the agency, which recently has been criticized publicly for excessive force.

The owner of the Perry & Gate's Barber Shop on West Road, James Gates, filed a complaint that the Sheriff's Office conducted an illegal search of his business earlier this month.

Deputies conducting a sting operation stormed his shop when a person suspected of illegal drug activity entered the building. Gates contends his customers, including several elderly and disabled clients, were frightened when deputies ordered them to the floor.

And after Sept. 9, the agency investigated an off-duty deputy involved in a fight with a customer of the Country Side Market and Deli on Nanticoke Road.

The report concluded Deputy Evan Avnet acted appropriately. He said he thought Tommy Jones, a mentally-challenged man, attempted to rob the store with a retractable Buck knife. But a store cashier, Brandey Werkheiser, says she never saw the blade. ... 10324/1002

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Postby WaTcHeR » 04 Dec 2007, Tue 6:07 pm

Deputy charged with 7 felonies. If convicted, Wicomico officer could face 45 years in prison.

SALISBURY -- The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office deputy accused of sexually molesting two young girls has been charged with seven felonies and could face 45 years in prison.

Deputy 1st Class Charles McMichael, 35, of Salisbury allegedly fondled two 10-year-old girls this past summer while they were inside his house, according to charging documents. He knew both of the victims.

Maryland State Police arrested McMichael Friday afternoon outside Pittsville Elementary and Middle School. The deputy, who has been on the force 15 months, was picking one of his children up from school, according to Sheriff Mike Lewis.

McMichael was charged with seven felony charges of sexual abuse and child abuse. The most serious is one charge of sexual abuse of a minor with continued course of conduct, which carries a 30-year prison sentence.

If convicted, some charges could compound the incarceration time, Assistant State's Attorney Sam Vincent said Monday.

"The allegations are very serious," Vincent said. "Anytime you have a sexual offense against a 10-year-old, it's very serious, and there are two (alleged) victims here."

He added that McMichael's position as a Sheriff's Office deputy would likely result in more severe sentencing.

"That's a problem, if he's convicted, (because) the court would take a dim view of a law enforcement officer committing such acts," he said.

McMichael, who has been suspended by the Sheriff's Office without pay, was being held on $150,000 bond at the Wicomico County Detention Center.

Law enforcement acted swiftly to detain McMichael after allegations first surfaced Thursday.

Lewis said a cooperative effort between the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit and the Wicomico County Child Advocacy Center compiled "clearly sufficient evidence" in less than 24 hours.

Police interviewed both of the victims before making the arrest, the report said.

According to charging documents, McMichael allegedly began abusing one of the victims when she was 6. He sexually abused her at least three times in separate incidents during a one-year span, the charging documents said.

A preliminary hearing for McMichael will likely be held this month, Vincent said. ... 40333/1002
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Postby KC » 08 Mar 2008, Sat 8:26 pm

A Wicomico County Sheriff's deputy who's accused of molesting two young girls will be in court Tuesday. Charles McMichael's motions hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

He was arrested in November after police say he sexually abused two 10-year old girls. McMichael is facing 13 charges including second degree sex offense and second degree assault. If convicted, officials say he could face a hefty sentence.

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