'Baltimore Birdman' cleared of child sex charges

Greg Hudnet is a retired BCoFD captain

TOWSON, Md. - A retired Baltimore County Fire Department captain accused of sexually abusing a minor was found not guilty of all charges Tuesday in Circuit Court.

UPDATE: Hear what Greg Hudnet's sons and a child abuse expert had to say 

Greg Hudnet, 65, of Parkton, was arrested and charged with sexual offenses against a minor last September.   The trial took place over four days and the jury needed just a few hours to render its verdict, according to family members.

“My father was blasted all over the media when everything took place last year,” said Hudent’s son, Frank, who is a lieutenant in the Baltimore County Fire Department. “It’s good to see that justice was served.”

Police said the victim filed a police report Aug. 22, 2013 documenting sexual abuse that had occurred between 2005 and 2008 at various locations throughout Baltimore County. The victim told police she was 12 to 14 years old when the alleged abuse took place from 2005 to 2008.

According to charging documents, the victim did not report the abuse until last year. Police added that on Sept. 18, 2013 they obtained a warrant for the defendant charging him with sexual abuse of a minor, third-degree sex offense, and sexual abuse of a minor - continuing course of conduct.   

Police said last year that when initially confronted about the allegations by police , Greg Hudnet denied the allegations, telling investigators, "Personally I feel like [the victim] tried to seduce me. Now [the victim] is trying to destroy me."

Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said they take cases like this seriously and know that trying cases during which the alleged crime happened several years prior can be tough to win.

"Cases like these are very difficult to prosecute because you are trying to recreate events from several years ago," Shellenberger said. "We appreciate the jury's hard work and we respect their verdict."

Frank Hudent said he, along with his brother, Robert, along with many in the fire department have supported his father since being charged and always believed in his innocence.

“My father was guilty in the eyes of the public instead of being innocent until proven guilty,” said Robert Hudnet, who is retired from the BWI fire department. “Hopefully now we can get back to living a normal life and rebuild my father’s reputation.”

Greg Hudnet began with the fire department in 1972 and retired in 2008. To many, Hudnet was a well-known Ravens fan who often appeared at local parades and festivals decked out as "the Baltimore Birdman" while bringing along his Ravens and Orioles themed classic cars.

“All of the charity work and goodwill my father built as the ‘Birdman’ was taken away,” Frank Hudnet said. “That’s why we want to get out there and let everyone know he was found not guilty.”

Stay with ABC2 News for additional details.

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