A 33-year-old Baltimore County wood shop teacher has been suspended without pay after a former student accused him of sexual abuse and police filed charges.
Steven Pearson Bartley, of the 500 block of S. Collins Ave., was suspended Aug. 27 from his job at Johnny Cake Middle School, pending the outcome of his criminal trial, said Richard Bavaria, spokesman for the county school system.
"He hasn't been tried," said Bavaria. "He hasn't been convicted of anything."
Bartley, a county schoolteacher since 1983, was arrested Aug. 22 and charged with child abuse and second-and third-degree sexual offenses. After being fingerprinted and processed, Bartley was released on $25,000 bail, court records show.
The school teacher was arrested just days after a 14-year-old Arbutus boy told his his mother that he had been sexually abused when he was a student of Bartley's in 1988.
According to District Court charging documents, the boy brought up the alleged sexual abuse during a conversation with his mother about a neighborhood girl who had been sexually abused by a relative.
"I know how she feels," the boy told his mother, who then went to police.
Detective Cynthia Harding interviewed the child, who told her that Bartley began sexually abusing him shortly after he hired the boy, then 12 years old, to work for him after school in his wood shop in March 1988 at Arbutus Middle School, where Bartley then taught.
According to the boy, Bartley promised to pay him $3 an hour while teaching him carpentry.
Instead, the boy charges, Bartley began performing oral sex on him and having him do the same. The alleged abuse continued, from March 1988 to December 1988, the boy told Harding.
The child estimated that he had been forced to perform sexual acts more than 150 times during that period, court records show.
According to Harding's report in court records, the boy "stated that fellatio occurred every day, sometimes several times a day and other sexual acts would occur occasionally."
On Aug. 31, a Baltimore grand jury indicted Bartley on the same charges, since the alleged abuse supposedly occurred both at Arbutus Middle School and at Bartley's home in the city.
If convicted on all the charges, Bartley faces a maximum of 90 years in prison.