A Potomac man who teaches social studies at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington has been charged with sexually abusing one of his former students after the girl’s mom found a string of sexually charged emails between the pair.
Richard Brian Shemer, 50, of Maplecrest Drive, was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of sex abuse of a minor.
Montgomery County Police learned of the abuse after the girl’s mother discovered an email exchange between Shemer and the girl and contacted authorities. Shemer had developed a “close relationship” with the girl, one of his students last year, according to Shemer’s charging documents, which said the girl shared intimate details of her life with Shemer.
The conversations continued via email, according to his arresting document. Shemer used both his school and his personal email accounts in the exchanges and he asked for a graphic photo of the girl, according to charging documents.
“The state is concerned this behavior took place on and off school grounds,” Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney Jessica Hall said Thursday in Montgomery County District Court.
Shemer’s bail initially was set at $250,000. Hall argued during the Thursday hearing that the bail should not be lowered.
Paul Kemp, Shemer’s attorney, argued to have his client released without bail. He said Shemer is an award-winning teacher and has no criminal history.
Shemer has three children: two in college and a daughter who is currently in high school, Kemp said in an interview after the bond review.
“These allegations are salacious and disturbing,” District Judge James Sarfield said. Sarfield noted that Shemer did not have a criminal history and that the charges only involved one victim. Shemer is not charged with touching the 16-year-old girl, but with engaging in sexually exploitative conduct. He lowered Shemer’s bail to $125,000.
But he ordered Shemer not to have contact with any minors besides his daughter and to stay away from Einstein, among other conditions.
Dana Tofig, a spokesman for Montgomery County Public Schools, said Shemer was placed on administrative leave when the school system learned of the allegations after he was arrested Wednesday.
“We will conduct an internal investigation at the appropriate time, after the police have completed their investigation,” Tofig said in an email.
Shemer has been a county school system employee since 2002 and worked at Einstein since 2010, Tofig said.
Shemer’s next court date is scheduled for Nov. 1.
Several members of Shemer’s family declined to speak to The Gazette about Shemer’s case.
“This is totally out of character,” Kemp said of Shemer, calling his client a “fine person.”
Staff Writer Lindsay A. Powers contributed to this report.