Retired McDonogh dean accused of molestation

September 30, 1992|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Staff Writer

Alvin Joseph Levy, 71, who spent 40 years at McDonogh School in Baltimore County before retiring as dean of students in 1986, has been indicted on child sexual abuse charges that accuse him of molesting a student between 1977 and the year of his retirement.

A Circuit Court indictment handed down by a grand jury Monday charges Mr. Levy with child abuse, second- and third-degree sexual offenses, perverted sexual practice and assault and battery.

The indictment alleges that Mr. Levy fondled and performed oral sex on a male student at the private school beginning in 1977. The activities are alleged to have continued after the student graduated and got a job working at the school.

According to court records, the former student, now 28, went to police in July to report the alleged abuse. Police had the man call Mr. Levy, according to the charging document, and they recorded a 22-minute conversation in which Mr. Levy allegedly made damaging statements about the incidents.

Mr. Levy "acknowledged" the incidents, the charging document reads, "stating it happened but not much and that they should have never done that."

Mr. Levy's attorney, Nevett Steele Jr., said his client was recently admitted to a hospital for "severe depression" over the charges. Mr. Levy will not contest the charges, Mr. Steele said. "We're looking for a speedy resolution of the matter," said Mr. Steele, who acknowledged that he is negotiating with the county state's attorney's office for a possible plea agreement.

Scott Shellenberger, an assistant state's attorney who heads the child sexual abuse unit, declined to comment on any plea negotiations or on the possibility that there may be other alleged victims.

L "All investigations are still open," said Mr. Shellenberger.

According to statements issued by the school and by Mr. Steele, Mr. Levy had lived on-campus since his retirement in June 1986, but recently admitted himself to a hospital for psychiatric treatment.

"McDonogh School was informed five days ago of an incident of sexual abuse which may have occurred on our campus over 10 years ago," reads the statement issued by W. Boulton Dixon, the school's current headmaster. "McDonogh is deeply saddened."

"Mr. Levy, who retired in 1986, was a valuable and respected landmark at McDonogh," the school statement continued. "McDonogh reiterates its long-standing commitment to policies and practices which ensure educational excellence and student well-being, based on the value of human dignity."

Mr. Dixon declined to comment further or to answer questions about Mr. Levy.

For generations of McDonogh students, Mr. Levy was known as "Major," partly because that was his rank in World War II and partly because of the McDonogh's former status as a military school for boys.

The exclusive private school in northwestern Baltimore County became a coeducational institution in 1975 and it no longer is a military school.

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