Bruce Travers

Bruce Travers

An Ocean Pines man faces numerous felony charges after being accused of crimes related to sexually abusing a minor and possession of child pornography.

Bruce Travers, 37, was arrested by Maryland State police on Aug. 21 and charged with 34 offenses — two counts for sexually abusing a minor in his temporary care, two counts of sexually abusing a minor, and 15 counts of filming a child in a sex act, all felonies, as well as 15 counts of possessing child pornography.

Travers is a former employee of the Little Lambs and Community Church in Berlin.

Parents of children who attend Little Lambs were sent an email on Wednesday afternoon letting them know about the investigation into Travers on Aug. 26.

“The staff member in this case was terminated by Little Lambs Learning Center, and had not worked since 8/20/2021,” the staff’s email read. “That staff member’s access to our building and campus has been suspended as of Thursday afternoon.

“We are cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation and are therefore unable to comment on any parts of the investigation,” the staff added.

State Police were tipped off about Travers’s activity after the computer crimes unit received a referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to court documents.

An image depicting four juvenile boys engaged in a sex act was uploaded to the popular browser Bing with an IP address that traced back to a home on Brandywine Drive in Ocean Pines.

Travers does not own the home that the image was traced back to, but he is a renter at the home.

After an investigation, State Police, along with the Ocean Pines Police Department, executed a search and seizure warrant at the home at 5:30 a.m. on Aug. 20. Travers, the sole occupant of the home, was there.

During the search, police recovered electronic equipment, including laptops, cell phones, thumb drives, and camera memory cards, according to the charging documents. Police also seized used children’s underwear that were individually packaged.

Travers spoke to investigators after being read his Miranda Rights, documents state, and admitted to possessing child pornography, though he denied touching any children sexually.

He did say that children have stayed at his home, identifying three who were between the ages of 7 and 10.

An investigation found Travers had stayed at the home with the children’s guardian off and on from June 2018 to July 2021, apparently earning the trust to take care of the children at his place of residence in Ocean Pines.

An examination of the electronic devices seized during the search contained several pornographic images of those children, court documents show.

The children’s caretaker was shown photos of several images of the clothing that was seized and confirmed they belonged to the children. She was also shown pornographic images of the children and confirmed their identity and approximate ages, according to court documents.

Travers is being held without bond and has a preliminary hearing in District Court in Snow Hill on Sept. 21.

“Investigators are aware that Travers has previously been employed in positions with access to children,” a statement from the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation read. “If members of the public have information pertinent to this investigation, they are asked to call the Worcester County Child Advocacy Center intake at (410-641-0097) for non-emergency calls.”

This story appears in the print version of Ocean City Today on Sept. 3, 2021.

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