By ASHLEY M. LEWIS
BALTIMORE (Sept. 5, 2008)—Former Maryland State Delegate Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of possessing child pornography during his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Baltimore Friday.
Standing in the front of the courtroom, McKee repeatedly glanced at his attorneys before answering most of the judge's questions.
Under his plea agreement, McKee is expected to serve 37 to 41 months in prison, register as a sex offender, and will never be able to hold public office or own a handgun.
McKee, 59, was charged after a months-long investigation found that he possessed and transported computerized images documenting sexual abuse of children.
"Mr. McKee is accepting responsibility for his actions. Since his resignation from the legislature, Mr. McKee's main focus has been on getting well and staying well," said Timothy F. Maloney, counsel for McKee, in a Sept. 2 statement. "He continues to progress with professional assistance and strong support from his family and friends and the Hagerstown community."
Maloney did not comment after the arraignment.
The guilty plea came more than seven months after authorities searched McKee's Hagerstown home and seized several computers.
A resident of McKee's home tipped off authorities and provided the computerized images of child pornography, some of which included pre-pubescent minors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie Greenberg said in court Friday.
Since then, McKee has resigned as chair of the western Maryland delegation and as executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, where he served 13 and 29 years respectively.
During the past two decades, McKee also served as chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Lincolnshire School, president of the Little League of Halfway, chairman of the Maryland State Association of Big Brothers and Big Sisters Agencies, vice president of the Hagerstown Junior Basketball League and chaplain of the Hagerstown Jaycees.
McKee also sponsored the Child Protection from Predators Act this year, as well as a statewide DNA database system which called for DNA samples to be collected from sexual predators upon arrest.
If convicted, McKee could have faced the maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervision, a $250,000 fine and a separate $100 assessment fine.
McKee's sentencing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Nov. 21.
Capital News Service contributed to this report.