Montgomery County teacher cleared of sexual offense charges resigns -- Gazette.Net


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A Montgomery County Public Schools teacher and coach who demanded his job back after sexual offense charges were dropped against him in March, resigned from the school system two weeks ago.

“He wants to put it behind him and move on, so he and his family can heal from his ordeal,” said Steven VanGrack, the attorney for Scott D. Spear, 47, of Spear’s decision to resign. “He’s had enough; he’s tired, he’s exhausted, but he’s also not guilty.”

After a pair of fourth-degree sexual offense charges were dropped against him on March 9, Spear asked the school system to reinstate him as an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Julius West Middle School.

The school system received Spear’s letter of resignation two weeks ago, said Dana Tofig, director of public relations for the county school system.

“He is no longer an employee at Montgomery County Public Schools,” Tofig said Thursday.

Spear, of Rockville, was accused of having sex with a 16-year-old female whom he had previously taught at Julius West. In 2009 the student began attending Richard Montgomery High School and kept in touch with Spear, joining the Richard Montgomery track and field team, where Spear was a part-time coach, according to Montgomery County police.

VanGrack maintained Spear’s innocence throughout his client’s early court appearances, arguing that Spear never had an inappropriate relationship with the student. Even if Spear had had sex with the student, the student was old enough to give consent under Maryland law, VanGrack said.

Kristin Fleckenstein, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office, said charges were dropped against Spear not due to a lack of evidence but because of a technicality under Maryland law in the definition of fourth-degree sexual offenses.

“Maryland law essentially excludes an individual who is a part-time coach at a school from prosecution for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a [student],” Fleckenstein said.

Anne Arundel prosecutors began handling the case after Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy revealed that he knew Spear.

Under a 2006 chapter of the state’s fourth-degree sexual offense law, it is illegal for a person in a position of authority to engage in any sexual act or contact with a minor who is a student enrolled at a school where the person is employed. However, the law only lists “full-time permanent employee[s],” as in a position of authority over students.

The law specifically lists principals, vice principals, teachers and school counselors, but not part-time employees or volunteer coaches..

Police said Spear contacted the girl in April or May of 2011 and asked her to meet him. That night Spear drove her to a house in Rockville, where they had sex, police said. Spear and the girl had sex again at the same house the next night, according to police. Detectives were contacted on Jan. 27 by an unnamed complainant who spoke with the girl about the incident and Spear was arrested Feb. 2, police said.

Spear was placed on paid administrative leave from the date of his arrest until May 9, after which Spear was placed on administrative leave without pay, Tofig said. Tofig would not discuss what led the school system to refuse to pay Spear after May 9 or any other specifics regarding the school’s investigation into Spear’s actions.

“We conducted an investigation and the outcome of that investigation is not something that we would discuss publically,” he said. “It’s a personnel matter and we don’t comment generally on personnel matters.”

jarias@gazette.net