Watch CBS News

Man charged in rape of Gunpowder Falls State Park employee while he was manager

Man charged in rape and assault while park manager for Gunpowder Falls State Park
Man charged in rape and assault while park manager for Gunpowder Falls State Park 00:27

BALTIMORE -- A Baltimore County man was arrested Tuesday in the repeated rape and assault of a woman while he was the park manager of Gunpowder Falls State Park, police said. 

Michael Browning, 71, is charged with second-degree rape and second-degree assault.

Michael Browning, 71 Baltimore County Police

Investigators determined over the course of a six-month-long investigation that he had sexually assaulted the same person several times, police said. 

Browning was employed by the Maryland Park Service and routinely patrolled Gunpowder State Park at the time of the assaults, police said.  

According to charging documents received by WJZ, the alleged victim met Browning while she was a young teenager at a 4H Club, which was run by Browning's wife in their home in Baldwin, Maryland.

The girl later worked at various sections of Gunpowder State Park, and in 2016, she was reportedly involved in a consensual sexual relationship with Browning that lasted several years.

The victim allegedly told investigators that Browning always wanted to engage in sexual activity with her "to the point of it being an obsession." Prosecutors said once the victim told Browning she wanted to end the relationship, he began to intimidate her. 

Browning allegedly had keys to the victim's home on Maryland State Park property in White Marsh, and the metal gate that blocked the entrance.

Prosecutors allege Browning would show up at her home in the early morning hours and force himself on her without consent. That happened around 10 to 15 times during their relationship, the girl told police.

On Sept. 27, the victim reported the assaults to police and agreed to be placed on a controlled phone call with Browning. Documents said their conversation was recorded.

"There were some times in our relationship that I didn't want sex, and I know I've brought this up to you before," the girl was recorded saying to Browning.

"Yes, yes, yes," he replied.

The girl then said, "And then you took that from me anyway, even when I was telling you no."

"Yes, I did," Browning answered.

Police took those admissions of forcible sexual assault and Browning was taken into custody. He is being held at Baltimore County Detention Center. 

Anyone with information about the assaults or who knows of other potential victims should contact investigators at 410-887-2223.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.