UDPATED WEDNESDAY: Man Facing 30-Plus Child Abuse, Porn Charges Including 19 Felonies; Travers Worked In Local Schools, Day Care Facilities

UDPATED WEDNESDAY: Man Facing 30-Plus Child Abuse, Porn Charges Including 19 Felonies; Travers Worked In Local Schools, Day Care Facilities
File photo by Chris Parypa

(Editor’s Note: The following story – originally posted Tuesday – has been updated with new information obtained from court records.)

SNOW HILL – A local childcare worker is in prison facing dozens of charges related to child porn and sexual abuse of minors.

Ocean Pines resident Bruce William Travers, 37, faces 34 charges total —two felony charges related to sexual abuse of a minor family or household member; two charges of sex abuse minor; 15 charges of child porn film in sex act; and 15 charges of child pornography possession.

Travers has worked at a variety of local daycare centers and in some local schools as recent as last spring.

Travers was charged Saturday, Aug. 28, with four counts of sex abuse of a minor family or household member with the offense date listed from June 1, 2018 to July 31 of this year. Travers was charged with 15 counts of child porn film in sex act and 15 counts of possession of child pornography. According to charging documents, Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit was contacted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which operates “CyberTipline” to handle reports of child sexual exploitation. The CyberTip included a file that was uploaded to Bing, according to charging documents, and depicted child pornography.

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On Aug. 20, with the assistance of the Ocean Pines Police Department, investigators with the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation executed a search and seizure warrant at Travers’ residence on Brandywine Drive. During the search, police seized laptops, cell phones, thumb drives, camera memory cards and several articles of children’s clothing, according to charging documents. Travers, according to documents, admitted to possessing child pornography and stated that he used children’s clothing to fantasize.

Travers reportedly told police three children — all elementary-school aged kids — had stayed at the house in the past.

When interviewed, the children’s guardian told investigators she met Travers through his employment at a local daycare, which was not named in the charging documents, and eventually entrusted Travers with the children, according to charging documents.

“Travers stayed with the family, off and on, from June 2018 to July 2021,” charging documents state.

Travers was also permitted to care for the children at his residence, according to documents.

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Bruce Travers

Forensic examinations on the electronic devices seized revealed various explicit nude photos of the children, according to charging documents. Investigators interviewed the children on Aug. 27 and Travers was charged the following day.

“It should be noted that investigators located instructions, in a metal box owned by Travers, on how to utilize socks as a tool to achieve sexual gratification,” charging documents state. “The metal box also contained hundreds of benign photographs of children.”

Little Lambs Learning Center sent an email to parents this week acknowledging that officials there were notified on Aug. 26 that an investigation was underway.

“We learned on Sunday morning that official charges had been filed,” the email reads. “The staff member in this case was terminated by Little Lambs Learning Center and had not worked since 8/20/2021. That staff member’s access to our building and campus has been suspended as of Thursday afternoon.”

The Worcester County Board of Education approved the hire of Travers as an educational assistant two weeks ago but he wasn’t set to start until September.

“Bruce Travers is not a WCPS employee in any capacity,” said Carrie Sterrs, the school system’s coordinator of public relations and special programs this week. “He was approved at the August Board meeting, but has since resigned.”

Travers has previously worked as a substitute teacher in county schools and spent time as a student intern in the guidance office at Showell Elementary School.

Travers is being held without bond pending a preliminary hearing on Sept. 21.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.