Sex offender arrested, accused of fondling boys at a pool in Sterling

STERLING, Colo. — A convicted sex offender is behind bars again, accused of touching young boys at the Sterling Recreation Center pool. Police say it’s because of those boys’ help and their good description that they were able to make an arrest.

44-year-old Gerald Marquardt, a registered sex offender in Logan County, is accused of fondling a nine-year-old boy while hugging him and acting inappropriately with two other young boys, including watching one shower with his bathing suit on.

Sterling Police Chief Tyson Kerr said the boys did exactly what they were supposed to do.

“We can’t say enough or express enough about how grateful we are and how they responded to the incident. They notified staff, they responded appropriately to the perpetrator and they also notified their parents,” the chief said. “Through them, we were able to have pretty good information at the onset of the investigation that resulted in an arrest.”

Marquardt was initially picked up by the Logan County Sheriff’s office for suicidal tendencies on Monday evening. He’s now on suicide watch. As for the boys, the chief said, “They’re OK. No one was hurt during the incident. Although there is the psychological piece of this that this is traumatic, especially for someone that is 9, 10, 11 years of age.”

Chief Kerr said the recreation center has the proper policies in place and they do work together to make sure these types of things don’t happen since it is such a busy spot. “It’s obvious, if someone was wanting to pray on children that would be a location to go to,” the chief said.

Wade Gandee, the Director of Parks, Library and Recreation didn’t want to go on camera but did say that he’s very proud of the way his staff handled the situation.