GERMANTOWN, Md. - For the second time within a month, a former court commissioner for Montgomery County has been arrested for a sex-related crime.
According to charging documents, 30-year-old Daniel Read had been communicating unknowingly with an undercover police detective since October.
The detective posed as a 17-year-old boy on the smartphone app Grindr. Once the detective and Read began chatting, the detective said he was actually 15 years old.
Read continued communication anyway asking for clothed and nude photos of the teen.
According to the documents, he proposed that the two have sex and then they made plans to meet in person at the McDonald’s restaurant on Middlebrook Road in Germantown on the morning of December 3. When Read arrived, officers were there waiting to arrest him.
Read has been charged with one count of sexual solicitation of a juvenile. He posted $50,000 bond and was released from jail.
No one answered the door at his Germantown apartment on Wednesday, but his lawyer said Read is innocent.
“He was court commissioner, he knows right from wrong and I don't believe that he felt he was doing anything wrong,” said Read’s attorney, Ahmet Hisim.
Despite what has been written in the charging documents, Hisim does not believe Read was intending to have sex when he agreed to a face-to-face meeting.
“My client’s intentions were not to harm or abuse anybody in any fashion, but were in effect of his good nature to try to help another individual who he believed was reaching out to him,” said Hisim.
Investigators believe otherwise and want to hear from anyone who may have communicated with Read through Grindr or other social media sites.
“He was using a screen name of ‘Dan’ on the social media network, so if anybody may have had contact with him and feel they have been a victim of a crime to please contact our vice and intelligence section,” said Montgomery County Police Department spokesperson Rick Goodale.
Anyone with information can contact them at 240-773-5958.
In the court system, court commissioner duties include determining whether there is probable cause to bring criminal charges against suspects, so these cases are troubling.
Read is the second sex crime arrest involving a former Montgomery County court commissioner. Israel Mangroo was charged with using his cellphone to take video up a woman's skirt in late November.
That case has been referred to the Prince George's County state’s attorney to avoid any potential conflict of interest. The same will likely happen with Read's case.