Sex charges filed against boy in alleged school attack

Suspension possible for elementary principal

June 20, 2000|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

An 8-year-old boy was charged yesterday with sexually assaulting a first-grade pupil at a Northeast Baltimore elementary school, and school officials said the principal might be suspended for failing to report the incident.

Police announced yesterday that they had concluded a two-week investigation into the incident May 29 in a classroom at Brehms Lane Elementary School and charged the pupil as a juvenile with a fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault.

The boy was being held by juvenile authorities pending a court hearing scheduled for today. School officials said his future will be determined after the criminal case is complete.

The alleged attack occurred during a class. The unidentified teacher, who witnessed part of the incident, called the alleged victim's parents and then told the principal, Jean Creek. But school officials said Creek failed to notify them or police, as required by law.

Police learned of the incident May 31 from doctors at University of Maryland Medical Center, where the girl's mother took her for treatment. Police said the mother initially refused to cooperate with them because she was angry at the way the incident was handled.

Detectives said their case was hampered by the late notification and said the principal initially was under investigation for possibly obstructing an investigation.

Vanessa Pyatt, a school system spokeswoman, acknowledged this month that "established procedures were not followed." Yesterday, she said the area superintendent has recommended that Creek be suspended for five days without pay.

Creek could not be reached for comment yesterday. Pyatt said Creek can appeal the disciplinary action to the school board. Police said they have decided not to file criminal charges.

Pyatt said the teacher in whose classroom the alleged attack occurred was on provisional status and will not be hired next year.

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