- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A former Chesapeake Beach church pastor who was indicted in November on charges including child abuse and sex offense was sentenced to 15 years in prison Tuesday in Calvert County Circuit Court.
Douglas W. Myers, 64, of Florida was indicted in November on 13 counts of custodial child abuse, three counts of third-degree sex offense and six counts of second-degree sex offense for allegedly abusing three boys, of whom he had temporary custody, between March 30, 1995, and March 26, 2001.
He entered Alford pleas Tuesday to three counts of custodial child abuse, and the remaining charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement with the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office.
An Alford plea acknowledges the state might have evidence for a conviction but does not admit guilt.
Myers was sentenced to 45 years in prison, with all but 15 years suspended, for all three charges of custodial child abuse. He received credit for the 307 days he served at the detention center since his arrest in November. He was placed on five years of supervised probation upon his release.
Assistant State’s Attorney Kathryn Marsh, who prosecuted the case, said the first victim, who is now 27, told officials in his drug court program, as well as a family friend, that he had been sexually abused from when he was 9 years old until he was about 14 years old by Myers, who was his former pastor at Bayside Baptist Church in Chesapeake Beach.
The 27-year-old man said the first incident occurred when he was 9, when he was at Myers’ home, and Myers touched him inappropriately, Marsh said. The victim said Myers also had him perform a sexual act, Marsh said. The man said Myers was at his house on another occasion watching him while his parents were out, and he had the victim again perform a sexual act.
The man said the abuse continued and escalated until the victim was about 14, Marsh said. The victim said the abuse occurred at his home, at Myers’ home and in the attic, Mezzanine, office and sound room of the church, according to a statement of facts Marsh read into the court record. The victim said in addition to the actual physical sexual abuse, Myers also bought him a computer and had him watch pornography, Marsh said, and also would take the victim on trips and buy him other items.
After speaking with the victim, police were able to then make contact with other potential victims, according to original reports.
Police interviewed a second victim, who is now 28, who said he was homeschooled at his church, where Myers was his pastor and teacher, between seventh and ninth grades. The man said during that time, Myers would have him come into his office alone and would touch him inappropriately. The victim said the abuse also occurred at a gym in Dunkirk where Myers would take him and a third victim, now a 30-year-old man. Myers would shower with the two young boys and would touch them inappropriately, according to the statement of facts provided by Marsh.
The third victim told police, Marsh said, that after his father died when he was 15, he lived with another family and attended the church where Myers was a pastor. He told police that in March or April of 1999, he was in the church office with Myers when he touched the victim inappropriately, Marsh said.
Police continued their investigation, and they learned that in 2000, there had been a prior complaint about Myers inappropriately touching other middle school boys. During the investigation, Myers gave a statement admitting to inappropriately touching the boys, according to the statement of facts.
Two parishioners interviewed by police said after the investigation in 2000, Myers apologized to the parish and then left the state shortly after, Marsh said.
During the investigation, police learned Myers had been convicted of sex abuse of a minor child in Florida. Myers is a registered sex offender in Florida and was in a county detention center there for several years after he was convicted in 2007 of lewd or lascivious molestation of a minor.
While reviewing all the material of that case, police learned Myers had told the young boy in Florida that the relationship was OK, as he had done the same thing with another boy in Maryland, Marsh said in the statement of facts.
The father of the first victim wrote to Myers while he was in prison in Florida “describing the hurt and suffering the abuse” caused the victim, as well as the entire family, Marsh said. Myers responded with a letter, Marsh said, stating, “‘My hope and plan is to meet with you and [the victim] when I can get up there. That may allow some venting and discussion/healing.’”