A Dunkirk man identified in court papers as an active-duty military officer entered an Alford plea Monday in Calvert County Circuit Court to one count of second-degree assault in connection with alleged incidents involving two young females. In late August, the defendant — John William Connor, 54 — was served a five-count indictment, which included a felony charge of sex abuse of a minor.

An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgment that prosecutors have evidence to support a charge.

The allegations against Connor were reported to police by an out-of-state relative in late July, a few days after the incidents occurred at a Dunkirk residence.

In court documents, Detective Edward Yates of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office stated he conducted recorded interviews with the victims at their residence. Yates also stated he did forensic downloads of “apologetic text messages” the defendant sent to both females. The detective stated two of the messages contained the words “ ‘I’m sorry’ displayed above a sad cartoon character. The timing of the above messages sent by John Connor is consistent with the timeline reported by the victims in this case and supports their reports of abuse.”

Yates stated in court papers that Connor allegedly fled Maryland “after he became aware of the allegations” and was temporarily staying in Georgia. The individual who reported the incidents to police told the detective “that John Connor is an active duty Army colonel,” court documents stated.

A warrant for Connor’s arrest was issued on July 23. The warrant was served Aug. 7, court records state. Connor posted $10,000 bond the following day.

Calvert County Assistant State’s Attorney Rebecca Cordero, who is handling the prosecution of the case, told The Calvert Recorder that a pre-sentence investigation was not ordered by the court.

Connor, who is being represented by attorney Andrew V. Jesic, will be sentenced on Feb. 19.

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