A 36-year-old Bethesda man was arrested and jailed Tuesday for alleged sexual offenses involving three Baltimore youths and for alleged distribution of cocaine and marijuana, according to Montgomery County police.

Steven Jay Katz, who lives at the Chelsea Tower apartments at 7401 West Lake Terrace, is being held in the Montgomery County Detention Center. Bond has been set at $50,000.

Katz is a non-degree student at American University taking juvenile criminal justice courses, according to an employe in the university's School of Criminal Justice.

The case is the third involving alleged sexual offenses against children in the area in recent months. On April 14, Montgomery County police arrested Robert A. McCormick, a Silver Spring day care teacher, on charges of child pornography. And on May 12, Maryland State Police arrested Allen Keys Richards, a counselor at a state-supported school for emotionally disturbed children in Prince George's County, on charges of child abuse for alleged sexual encounters with an adolescent boy.

According to district court documents, a Baltimore man told Rockville police his two sons and another juvenile were runaways staying with Katz. He brought with him the brother of another juvenile who told police he had been at Katz's apartment in the past.

The youth told police he first met Katz in Baltimore and that he had gone with Katz to his apartment June 3, along with two other boys. According to the youth, Katz returned the three juveniles to Baltimore the next day.

Police went to the apartment with a warrant at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday and found the 10- and 14-year-old sons of the Baltimore man who had gone to the police, as well as the 13-year-old brother of the juvenile who had been interviewed by police.

That evening, police searched Katz's apartment and found "a great quantity of color photographs of young nude males, videotapes and pornographic magazines," according to police spokesman Sgt. Harry Geehreng.

Police say they believe Katz took the three juveniles to his apartment for sexual purposes and that he provided them with drugs.

In sworn statements filed in district court, one of the boys said he had been at Katz's residence on three occasions in June, and another said he had visited twice during the same month.