Former Scout leader convicted of fondling teen-age boy

July 12, 1996|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

A former Boy Scout leader and elementary school teacher was convicted this week of charges that he sexually fondled a teen-age boy at his Ellicott City home.

Craig Smith, 37 -- who is suspended from his job as a Swansfield Elementary School music teacher -- was found guilty by Circuit Court Judge Donna Hill Staton Monday of child abuse, a fourth-degree sex offense and battery.

He faces up to three years in prison when he is sentenced at a later date.

In court, the boy -- who was 15 at the time -- testified that he was helping Smith build a deck on his house in the Brightwood neighborhood last July, Assistant State's Attorney Janine Rice said.

"The defendant got him drunk," Rice said.

Smith and the boy, who lives in Columbia, ended up sleeping in the same bed. The boy woke up three times during the night to find his boxer shorts at his knees. Once he saw the defendant above him fondling himself, Rice said.

The next morning, he confronted Smith. A month after the incident, Smith confessed to police that he had rubbed and fondled the boy. But in court, the defendant testified that he had awakened to find his hand on the boy, without knowing how it got there, Rice said.

Pub Date: 7/12/96

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