Practice Area:Criminal Defense
Description:A longtime Montgomery County firefighter faces a preliminary court hearing next week on charges that he solicited sex from a woman he thought was a 16-year-old whom he'd met online, according to police allegations filed in Montgomery County District Court. Lt. Wayne A. Mothershead, a firefighter for more than 20 years, has been placed on administrative leave with pay, a county fire services spokesman said Thursday. On July 17, according to Montgomery police, Mothershead used his county e-mail address to initiate contact with someone who had posted on Craigslist, unwittingly beginning back-and-forth contact with two undercover officers, police said. One of them referred Mothershead to a MySpace page, "which reflected that the female was 16 years old," and wrote to Mothershead that "if your [sic] okay with my age hit me back." Mothershead's attorney, Rebecca Nitkin, said she believes there is insufficient evidence to prove the charges. She said Mothershead has "saved countless lives" in 22 years of public service. "He can hold his head high as he has nothing to be ashamed of," Nitkin said. According to police, a female officer called the number supplied by Mothershead, who indicated that he wanted to meet immediately. "He indicated that he would pay $150 for services," another officer, D.J. Fitzgerald, wrote in a charging document. On the morning of July 20, Mothershead pulled into the Holbrook Shopping Center in Gaithersburg for what he thought would be an encounter, but instead he was arrested, according to Fitzgerald's statement.