Maryland Sex Crimes  - Teacher/Student Contact

Maryland Sex Crimes - Teacher/Student Contact

A Baltimore County schoolteacher was recently charged with sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree child abuse and a fourth-degree sex offense after an investigation of the man’s activities uncovered an inappropriate relationship between the teacher and a student at the school. Headlines all over the nation report instances – almost weekly -- of inappropriate student contact by male and female school officials.

Maryland has several laws that criminalize engaging in sexual behavior with a child. There are also specific sex crime laws in Maryland aimed at teachers and other school employees. Although the age of consent in Maryland is 16, it is a criminal offense under Maryland law for teachers and school employees over the age of 21 to engage in sexual activity with school students under the age of 18 who are under the authority of the school official.

Penalties for Inappropriate Teacher/Student Contact

There are several punishments for school workers who are convicted of engaging in a sex crime in Maryland.

Teachers or other school employees who engage in sexual activities with students can be sentenced to up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both jail and a fine. Second convictions are punishable by up to three years in prison. People in Maryland who are convicted of subsequent crimes involving sex with underage children may be sentenced to life imprisonment.

In addition to possible jail time and fines, people who are convicted of statutory rape and related crimes are required to register as sex offenders for at least 15 years. In some instances, sex crime offenders must stay on the registry even longer -- for 25 years or for the length of their life. Most offenses carry the responsibility to register every three or six months. In addition to the Maryland state database, the names of all registered sex offenders are also kept in a federal sex offender database.

Teachers also face the loss of their license to teach if they are convicted of a sex crime.

Defenses

In Maryland, as in most states, the fact that the defendant mistakenly believed the child to be of age is not a defense to statutory rape or a similar sex crime. For example, even if the child is underage and lied about his or her age to the defendant and others, that is no defense to this type of crime.

When charged with a Maryland sex crime, the state has the responsibility to prove that defendants are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; but, sex crimes are not popular and jurors are likely to have preconceived notions.

If you are charged with a sex crime in Maryland, you should talk to a Maryland criminal defense attorney. A Baltimore sex crimes lawyer can get the charges reduced or work out a plea bargain, among other defense options. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas J. Maronick have experience handling these cases. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.934.3007 or via our website for a free consultation.