A former Montgomery County elementary school teacher accused of inappropriately touching four of his elementary school students pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree assault.
Montgomery County Circuit Judge Richard E. Jordan sentenced Timothy V. Krupica to three years in jail for each count, but suspended all of the time. He also ordered Krupica to serve three years of supervised probation, and forbade him from teaching anyone under 16.
He said the sentence would serve as “sufficient notice” for Krupica to not repeat his actions.
In February 2013, Montgomery County police arrested Krupica, then a teacher at Meadow Hall Elementary School in Rockville, and charged him with innappropriately touching two girls.
Two months later, police rearrested Krupica and charged him with similar charges after new allegations from two other students surfaced.
The girls were all 11 years old. The alleged abuse took place in his classroom while other students were present.
Krupica’s arrest and the charges against him sent reverberations through the small community of Meadow Hall parents, with many siding with him and against his accusers.
In court on Monday, Jeffrey Harding, Krupica’s attorney, referenced hundreds of emails and letters that he had received from Krupica’s supporters, dozens of whom were in court Monday. They, along with the parents of the accusers, declined to speak to reporters after the hearing.
Krupica originally faced more than a dozen charges, including child abuse, fourth-degree sex offenses and sex abuse of a minor.
Before an audience packed with his parents — both former schoolteachers — family, and other supporters, Krupica pleaded guilty to the four second-degree assault charges he faced, which encompassed “unconsented touching.”
However, parents of two of the victims spoke in court, describing the effect the case has had on their daughters.
One mother said that her daughter “couldn’t sleep — she had nightmares,” and had to see a therapist.
She said she believed that Krupica, “was grooming these kids to see what else he could get away with.”
When Jordan asked her what she believed would be a just sentence, she said, “I think he should never ever be permitted to be around children again ...”
Another mother said Krupica’s actions “changed an entire community.”
The Gazette is not identifying the mothers who spoke in the hearing to protect the identity of their daughters.
Before sentencing Krupica, Jordan acknowledged the divisions the case had created, and the difficulty to know exactly what happened.
“I can only deal with what I have in front of me at this point,” he said, referring to a doctor’s evaluation of Krupica, which showed he did not have pedophilic tendencies and prosecutor’s recomendation that he not receive jailtime.
When given the chance to speak, Krupica thanked his family and friends for their support, but said little else.
He has given up teaching, Harding said.
“He doesn’t intend to [teach] ever again,” Harding said, adding that Krupica has been trying to get a job with the National Forest Service. Krupica had been living in Maryland, but has since moved back to West Virginia, where his family is from.
Harding asked for probation before judgment, which would have allowed Krupica to avoid having a conviction on his record. Harding also asked for Krupica to receive unsupervised probation.
“This is a person who I don’t think needs to be supervised by anybody,” he said in court, noting that Krupica had no prior record.
Harding said he would be filing for a motion asking Jordan to reconsider his sentence at a future date.
Montgomery County Public School officials declined to comment on Krupica’s plea and sentencing, as did a former Meadow Hall PTA member.