|Ocean City: Former Priest Found Guilty of Child Abuse
June 4, 2010
OCEAN CITY — A North Carolina man accused of sexually abusing a child in Ocean City more than 30 years ago was found guilty when he had his day in court Thursday.
Michael Lowell Barnes, 64, submitted an Alford plea June 3 in Worcester County Circuit Court to child abuse as a custodian. Fifteen other charges of second- and third-degree sex offenses, second-degree assault, and additional counts of child abuse as a custodian were dropped by prosecutors.
Barnes hasn't yet been sentenced for the offense because the judge ordered a routine pre-sentencing investigation of his background.
Ocean City police received allegations in late 2009 of abuse allegedly taking place between 1977 and 1983, when the victim was a minor. Barnes was later apprehended at his home in North Carolina.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore told The Associated Press that Barnes was the associate pastor of an Essex parish during the time of the alleged abuse and that he left the priesthood in 1988.
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