Former Gunpowder Falls State Park Manager Sentenced To Two Years Of Unsupervised Probation
BALTIMORE COUNTY -The former head of Gunpowder Falls State Park was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation by a Baltimore County judge on Monday. Michael Browning, 72, will also be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years.
A jury found Browning guilty of one count of a fourth-degree sex offense after a five-day trial last week. He was initially charged with a total of 27 counts of sexual crimes. Nine counts each of second-degree rape, second-degree assault, and fourth-degree sexual offense.
Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge, Wendy Epstein, accepted the state's recommendation that all but the time he has already served in jail be suspended. Exemptions were also carved out in Browning's probation that will allow him to travel out of state and own firearms for hunting.
Browning is not permitted to contact the two former park employees who accused him of rape. According to the decision, he is also barred from visiting any state parks run by Maryland's Department of Natural Resources.
The Baltimore Sun reports that one of the accusers told the court on Monday that "I felt like nobody believed me" and "Mike gets to walk out of this courtroom a free man."
No matter the case's outcome, the women encouraged other sexual assault victims to come forward.
"It takes a lot of courage for someone to sit up in that chair and testify," one of the victims said. "It's an experience, and you'll probably feel better."
Based on the reportage, this seems very lenient.