STERLING – A registered sex offender is being held without bond in a sex-assault case involving young boys at the Sterling Recreation Center pool.
Sterling Police say they responded to the pool on Monday, after getting a report that a man fondled a 9-year-old boy after asking to hug him. Police say a 10-year-old boy reported the man grabbed him on the shoulders and an 11-year-old told police the man watched him while he was showering with his swimsuit on. The 11-year-old also told police the man asked to hug him but did not touch him in any way.
Police identified the suspect as 43-year-old Gerald Marquardt. Police learned the registered sex offender had just been taken into custody by a different agency for an unrelated incident.
"My son has to feel this for the rest of his life. He won't be able to trust people. He was crying and sad and scared. We asked him what he did when he was touched. He said he fell down and crawled away from [Marquardt]," a victim's mother said.
9NEWS is choosing not to identify the woman who says her son was one of Marquardt's victims.
After the 9-year-old escaped, he ran to a lifeguard who called police. His mother says parents need to be extremely cautious even in an area that may seem safe.
Marquardt is currently in police custody. He had a prior conviction in 1993 for sexually assaulting a child. The arrest warrant lists charges of sexual assault on a child and harassment.
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