August 22, 2012 | 3:37 p.m.
BY KAYLA BAWROSKI, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev. Mark Stewart Bullock (Handout photo / August 22, 2012)
A Catholic priest from Towson was sentenced to 360 days in jail, with all of the time suspended, after pleading guilty in Harford County Wednesday to a single charge of indecent exposure, stemming from his arrest inside an Abingdon adult bookstore in January.
Although Rev. Mark Stewart Bullock won’t serve any jail time, he will have a significant probation period and, for now, a guilty finding on the misdemeanor charge.
Harford County Sheriff’s deputies discovered Bullock, who at the time was with the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Towson, exposing himself in a back room at Bush River Books & Movies, according to charging documents.
The deputies found Bullock in the last film viewing theater of the Pulaski Highway bookstore on Jan. 16, without pants and in an area that the public could see him, according to Assistant Harford County State’s Attorney Trenna Manners, who prosecuted the case in Harford County District Court.
Shortly after his arrest, the Archdiocese of Baltimore dismissed Bullock from his work at Immaculate Conception and ordered him to have a psychological evaluation.
Bullock was evaluated by the state in early February and recommended for an six month residential and outpatient program that deals with various types of addiction, including sexual addiction, Mark B. Martin, Bullock’s lawyer, told retired District Judge Lawrence Lanahan Jr. during Wednesday’s trial in Bel Air.
Martin said Bullock entered the residential program on Feb. 22 and was due to complete that phase Wednesday. The program deals with patients on a spiritual and therapeutical level, Martin added.
Following his successful completion of the residential program, Bullock would begin a weekly 12-step outpatient program, according to Martin, who requested a finding of probation before judgment with a condition that Bullock complete the full program.
Bullock also addressed the judge, saying he “very much” regretted his actions and is looking forward to building a new life.
For the state, Manners recommended a guilty finding with a suspended sentence pending the completion of the addiction rehab program, a fine and an order that Bullock stay away from the bookstore.
Lanahan agreed with Manners that a finding probation before judgment, potentially leaving Bullock with no criminal record in connection with the case, would be “premature.”
The judge then sentenced Bullock to 360 days in the Harford County Detention Center, all suspended, and to 36 months probation, with at least 18 months supervised. He also imposed a $500 fine, plus $57.50 in court costs, but then suspended $250 of the fine.
A condition of probation is the successful completion of the rehabilitation program. After that, Lanahan said, the court could reconsider the matter.