Defense, prosecution seek foster son's records in abuse case

August 26, 1994|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Sun Staff Writer

A prosecutor and defense attorney went to Howard Circuit Court yesterday seeking the social services records of a 17-year-old boy who alleges that he was sexually abused by his foster father beginning in 1987.

Assistant State's Attorney Shirley Ripley contends that the records will help corroborate statements by the victim in her case against Marvin Lee Teal, 44, a state administrative law judge.

Meanwhile, R. David Pembroke, a Hagerstown lawyer for Mr. Teal, asked Judge Dennis Sweeney to is sue an order providing him with the boy's mental health records to help prepare for the defense for his client.

"We're essentially asking for the same relief the state is asking, except for different reasons," Mr. Pembroke said.

However, the Baltimore County Department of Social Services -- the agency that handled the boy's placement in foster care -- did not want to turn over the records. .

Bruce Mermelstein, a Baltimore County lawyer representing the department, said the records are considered confidential. He said the agency will not turn over the records without a court order.

Judge Sweeney then ordered Mr. Mermelstein to turn over the files to him. The lawyer did so, and the judge sealed the records from the public and the attorneys.

The judge said he will appoint a private attorney to represent the boy, as suggested by Ms. Ripley. The attorney will argue whether the records should be provided to the prosecutor and defense lawyer.

Mr. Teal of Ellicott City is scheduled to stand trial on Sept. 7, but the proceedings are expected to be postponed until the issue of the boy's records is settled.

In April, Mr. Teal was indicted on multiple counts of child abuse, perverted sexual offenses, assault, battery and sexual offenses. The youth reported that he was molested about 30 times, according to court documents.

In July, Mr. Teal was indicted in a separate case on additional counts of child abuse, perverted sexual practices, assault, battery and sexual offenses. He is alleged to have sexually abused a second teen-age boy between 1980 and 1985, court records say.

Police said the second alleged victim, now 25, went to the police station after reading reports of Mr. Teal's arrest. Mr. Teal is accused of fondling the youth and attempting to perform a sex act with him.

Records say the incidents occurred between 1981 and 1986, while Mr. Teal served as the victim's Big Brother in the Big Brothers-Big Sisters of America Inc. program.

Mr. Teal has been a judge with the state Office of Administrative Hearings, which handles hearings for 26 state agencies, since 1990.

He is handling administrative duties pending the cases' outcome. He has been released on $25,000 bond.

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