Retired Johnstown police officer Warren S. Maas, former DARE officer for the Johnstown Police Department, was indicted Thursday by a Fulton County grand jury on 23 counts of possessing child pornography.
Fulton County District Attorney Louise K. Sira said two videos and 21 still images were found in Maas’ computer files.
State police arrested the 55-year-old retiree in January following a seven-month investigation that started when a family member found the images on Maas’ computer in 2006 and alerted authorities.
Maas, who retired about 11 years ago after a 20-year career with the Johnstown department, served as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer for at least three years, a department spokesman said. DARE officers work closely with students in schools to instill an anti-drug abuse mindset.
Sira said the images were of children ranging in age from pre-elementary school to young teenagers. Sira declined Thursday to discuss the genders of the subjects, but at the time of Maas’ arrest, officials said they were girls.
“It’s upsetting and disappointing to community members who knew him in a different light,” Sira said.
Maas’ attorney, Gerard V. Heckler, declined comment on the indictment.
After retirement, Maas ran a restaurant that specialized in hot dogs.
Most recently, Maas has been an employee in the security department at Nathan Littauer Hospital, where after the arrest he was suspended without pay.
Sira said it must be recognized that this alleged crime took place “well after he retired.” Still, she said, “it’s a sad commentary on someone who at one time swore to protect and serve.”
Sira said in January the arrest was delayed while the state police computer lab examined two computers seized from Maas.
If convicted, Sira has said, he could serve a maximum sentence of 11⁄3 to four years.
In a second case involving sex charges, former Gloversville School District tutor William D. Cross was indicted on counts of second-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly having sexual contact with a 13-year-old boy in March.
The 54-year-old Cross, a resident of West Street in Gloversville, ran unsuccessfully for the city school board in 1992.
Police said the victim was not a student of Cross’ and the incident did not take place in a school setting.
School officials initially confirmed Cross was one of numerous per diem tutors hired by the district to assist students unable to attend classes, either because of suspensions or illness.
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Categories: Schenectady County