By Josh Davis, News Editor
Keith Andrew Mariani, 60 of Berlin, was indicted and is being held without bond on more than 60 charges, including second-degree rape, sex abuse of a minor, and child pornography, Worcester County States Attorney Kris Heiser confirmed on Tuesday.
According to court documents, Mariani was originally charged on March 27 with five counts, including sex abuse of a minor and sexual solicitation of a minor, both felony charges.
However, on April 23 a notice of criminal indictment was sent to the Worcester County District Court in Snow Hill, asking his case to be set to “Nolle Prosequi,” a legal phase meaning “do not prosecute.”
The criminal indictment, filed the same day by a Worcester County Grand Jury, included two counts of sex abuse of a minor, two counts of second-degree rape, five counts of third-degree sex offenses, 10 counts of filming child pornography, one charge of displaying obscene materials to minors, and 44 counts of possessing child pornography.
A breakdown of each of the 65 charges allege that between Nov. 1, 2017 and Feb. 8, 2019 Mariani, among other things, sexually abused a minor who was a member of his household. Each felony charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
Mariani was also charged with two counts of second-degree rape (felony, 15 years to life, each).
Also listed were 10 charges of photographing a minor engaging in sexual conduct (felony, 10 years, $25,000 fine, each), one charge that Mariani “did willfully and knowingly display to a minor an item that consists of an obscene picture of a nude or partially nude figure” in violation of Maryland law (misdemeanor, 1 year, $1,000 fine), and 44 charges of possessing child pornography (misdemeanor, 5 years, $2,500, each).
In total, his 19 felonies and 46 misdemeanors could carry a penalty of 461 years to life in jail, and $363,500 in fines.
According to court records, an arrest warrant was also issued on April 23. Mariani appeared by videoconference from the Worcester County Jail on April 30 for a bail hearing, when Judge Beau Oglesby ordered him to be held without bond. He is currently being held at the Worcester County Detention Center in Snow Hill.
Mariani has a motion hearing scheduled on July 2 and a jury trial scheduled Aug. 7, both at Worcester County Circuit Court in Snow Hill.
In 2016, Mariani was honored for 25 years of service to the Town of Berlin as a wastewater distribution/collection supervisor. Berlin Town Administrator Laura Allen on Tuesday confirmed the town no longer employs him.