Secretariat trainer charged with child sex crimes

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. -- A racehorse expert who helped train Triple Crown winner Secretariat and had ties to Saudi royals is accused of abusing a teenager while producing child pornography.

Daniel Mullan, 80, entered federal court in Central Islip in a wheelchair Friday and pleaded not guilty to charges including sexual exploitation of a child and possession of the pornographic footage, Newsday reported.

Mullan was a foreman at the champion horse's stable at the Belmont racetrack in the 1970s.

The judge ordered him detained, saying in court papers that Mullan could be a flight risk because he said he once lived in Saudi Arabia and worked for the late King Abdullah, who bred Arabian horses.

Mullan's attorney, Nancy Bartling, was not immediately available for comment.

He is also charged with transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity.

Mullan was extradited from Ireland earlier this week.

In court papers, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Maffei said the child pornography was created over decades, going back to the 1980s, and stored at Mullan's home in Nassau County's Elmont, as well as in a nearby storage unit.

"The defendant has personally engaged in the sexual exploitation of numerous minors and raped several minor boys on video,'' the prosecutor said.

He said some of the subjects in the videos told law enforcement officials that Mullan had sexually abused them while recording the encounters.

If convicted, Mullan faces up to 20 years in prison He is to appear in court again on Sept. 6.

According to Newsday, Mullan has served time in Irish prisons on unrelated charges of sexual assault and child pornography.