(May 10, 2019) 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.

Josh Davis is an MDDC award-winning editor and reporter at the Bayside Gazette and Ocean City Today newspapers, covering Berlin and Ocean Pines, Maryland. He is the author of three novels, including 'Vanishing is the Last Art' (2012). He lives in Berlin.

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