On September 11, 2019, Keith Mariani, age 61, of Berlin, Maryland, was found guilty of 2 counts of 2nd degree rape by the Honorable Brian D. Shockley, Administrative Judge of the Worcester County Circuit Court. Prior to the trial date, the State filed a notice which increased the maximum penalty to life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ incarceration without parole on each count. Sentencing was deferred by the Court pending a pre-sentence investigation.
The charges stem from a complaint of child sexual abuse received by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office in February of 2019. The Worcester County Child Advocacy Center (the CRICKET Center) and Child Protective Services began a joint investigation which revealed that from 2017 through 2019, Mariani had repeatedly sexually abused a child at his home in Berlin. Investigators recovered photographs and videos of Mariani engaging in the abuse after a search warrant was executed on his 3 cell phones. Mariani’s cell phones also contained vast quantities of child pornography involving unidentified victims.
Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser commended the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the CRICKET Center, Life Crisis, and Detective Martin for their tireless work on this investigation, and thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Karen Dean for her efforts on this difficult case.
The mission of the CRICKET Center is to create a community response in which abusers are held accountable and children and families experience hope and healing. The multidisciplinary team is made up of law enforcement officers, child protective service personnel, prosecutors, lawyers, advocates, mental health therapists and medical personnel. To learn more, or to report suspected child abuse, please contact 410-641-0097.