Sex offense cases involving teacher made inactive

August 15, 1991

Sex offense and battery charges against a Howard County middle school teacher have been placed on the inactive docket, the prosecutor said yesterday.

Four criminal cases against John G. Reichenbach Jr., 46, were placed on the inactive docket and will be dropped after six months if the teacher engages in no criminal activity during that period, said Timothy G. Wolf, an assistant county state's attorney.

Two girls, then 11-year-old sixth-grade students of Mr. Reichenbach at Ellicott Mills Middle School in Ellicott City, alleged that the teacher fondled them in the classroom on two separate occasions in the 1988-89 school year.

The prosecutor said the state's case was hampered by a pretrial ruling barring testimony against Mr. Reichenbach from other female students.

Mr. Wolf said he also believed "the case should be tried in the civil arena, where the standard of proof is different." Two of Mr. Reichenbach's former students have filed civil suits against him, the school system and Rose Levine, then principal of the middle school.

Mr. Reichenbach was placed on administrative duty in the school system's central office after criminal charges were filed nearly two years ago. School officials said they are reviewing the case to determine Mr. Reichenbach's status for the upcoming school year.

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